There's a press release (below) from the China Cup International Regatta with the headline, “What's New?” Well, quite a lot actually.
A small team of CCIR ‘observers' went to the Phuket King's Cup last December to find out what makes it tick, and have obviously picked up a thing or two.
1. China Cup will be awarded to winners in each class (instead of only the Beneteau 40.7 One Design Class, as in previous editions of CCIR). They have taken the cue from the King's Cup, and will award lots of China Cups – and the Racing Class is at the front of the list. Maybe now some Grand Prix boats will return to the fray?
Presumably someone has figured out that making a division of OD cruisers the signature event of the regatta might not be such a good idea after all.
2. Racing will now be provided for “Racing Class, One Design classes, classes raced under IRC, SBR ratings or COA HKPN Handicap numbers provided that all boats are capable of meeting the requirements of ISAF Offshore Regulations for Category 5 races”. Cat 5 translates as ‘Basic Safety Requirements' - a bucket, an anchor and a lifejacket. That opens the door to a lot more boats – ‘inclusive' is good.
3. More races. Nine in four days, instead of six. (Keep the discards down to one only, and race twice on Monday so that half the fleet doesn't disappear on Sunday evening).
This promises a substantial improvement in what has to date been a rather lack-lustre event. We still don't buy the line about “the picturesque Daya Bay of Shenzhen” – you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and Daya Bay is definitely not one of the world's scenic hot spots – but it does look as if the event that originally billed itself as bigger and better than the America's Cup may now start to become slightly more than a charter rally for cruisers.
If they can make the ceremonial stuff a bit more fun and less stuffed-shirt, and skip all the long and self-congratulatory speeches from officials, so much the better!
And talking of 'spin', take a look at the story about the booming boating business in India. Really? Really...
Guy Nowell, Editor
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