It is a good indication of the general health of sailing in Asia that this weekend sees the first ISAF-graded match race in Hong Kong since the (very) early 90s, and last week in Thailand a record fleet of 'big boats' contested the Top of the Gulf Regatta. There's activity blossoming at all levels. Anyway, on with the match racing...
The five skippers who yesterday contested the ISAF Grade 5 Visitors’ Cup in preparation for the BNP Paribas Match Racing International Regatta were today joined for the main event by Hong Kong-based skippers Marty Kaye (HKG), Peter Backe (SWE) and Tim Somerville (AUS).
In a swinging 8 to 12 knot easterly and flooding tide, Race Officer Inge Strompf Jepsen set a course almost identical to the previous day, immediately in front of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.
The format for the day was a round robin for all eight teams, consisting of 10 flights and a total of 28 matches. With six boats available, two teams sat out each flight on the satellite boat, no doubt using the time to make notes on their rivals’ strengths and weaknesses.
Perhaps reflecting the ISAF Grade 3 status of the event, the dial ups were much more tactical today, with several protests and penalties being expertly handled by the Umpires. The quality of the racing on offer was demonstrated in the first match of the day, when Peter Backe squeezed over the line inches ahead of Vladimir Lipavsky’s in a torrential downpour to get his day off to an auspicious start.
Backe was unable to compete the day with a clean sweep however, when he attempted to clear a penalty immediately prior to finishing. The Swede used the Committee Boat to stall the Thai boat of Jakobsen, who in turn shadowed Backe doggedly to succeed in taking the match by preventing him from making his turn.
BNP Paribas Match Racing International Regatta continues tomorrow with the semi-finals, finals and a round robin for fifth to eighth placed boats to finalise the positions. In spite of today’s result, Backe has selected to race against third placed Jakobsen, leaving Somerville to face Lipavsky in the second semifinal.
BNP Paribas Match Racing International Regatta – Round Robin Results
1 (6-1) Peter Backe (SWE)
2 (5-2) Tim Somerville (AUS)
3 (5-2) Morten Jackobsen (THA)
4 (4-3) Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS)
5 (3-4) Marty Kaye (HKG)
6 (2-5) Laurence Mead (GBR)
7 (2-5) Ridgely Balladares (PHI)
8 (1-6) Toshio Toya (JPN)
by RHKYC Media
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11:04 AM Sat 12 May 2012GMT
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