What is it that non-sailors find so tough to understand about the concept of handicaps? It's simple, right? Bigger boats generally go faster than smaller boats; to compensate for this, the big boats' elapsed times are multiplied up by a time correction factor. I have a friend who can solve quadratic equations in his head and butter toast at the same time, but is completely flummoxed by the idea of a time handicap related to the size of a boat.
Yesterday he called me, eager to let me know that he was following the Rolex China Sea Race, and once again I found my self explaining that while the first boat to finish had been awarded Line Honours, ‘winning the race' was quite another matter.
Hong Kong is horseracing crazy, and the punters seem to understand that horses carry handicaps in the form of weights. So I told my friend to think of big boats carrying more weight in the form of a ‘heavier' time correction factor. He's still buttering toast, but I think we're getting there.
Congratulations to Jono Mahoney and the crew of the Humphreys 42 Zanzibar on their IRC Overall win in the 2012, 50th anniversary, edition of the Rolex China Sea Race. As far as we know, it's the first CSR victory for a Singapore boat and crew, and it very much to be hoped that it will encourage more crews and boats from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to make the trip north to compete in events such as the China Sea, Boracay, Vietnam, San Fernando and Hainan races. Last Tuesday, before the race started, we asked Mahoney what brought him, his crew and Zanzibar, up to Hong Kong when the Asian regatta circuit ‘traffic' is so dominated by Hong Kong boats going south to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysaia. “Just because of that,” he said. “We thought it was high time that one of the ‘south end' boats paid a visit to the north end of the South China Sea. Returning the compliment, sort of thing.”
From those of us up at the north end, thank you for the compliment, Zanzibar. Three cheers for your win, and hope to see you in Hong Kong again. Bring some friends...
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