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From Hong Kong to Hamilton Island – Raceweek, that is…


The latest sailing news from Asia and the world.
 28 Feb 2017

From Hong Kong to Hamilton Island – Raceweek, that is...

Hong Kong Raceweek 2017  Guy Nowell / Hong Kong Race Week
Hong Kong Raceweek: after just four years this regatta has established itself as the premier small boat regatta in Asia – there's nothing else that comes even close. It's jointly organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Hong Kong Sailing Federation, and involves four days of dinghy racing off the south side of Hong Kong, based out of the RHKYC's excellent facility at Middle Island. HKRW is a constituent part of the ASAF Youth Cup, and includes RS-X, RS-1 and Bic Techno 293 windsurfers, 470s, 420s, 29er, Laser Radial and 4.7, Optimists and the 2.4m class. 249 sailors racing 205 boats in 10 classes. Four racecourses, 121 starts (not including any recalls), and almost 100 volunteers. Conditions ranged from benign to feisty, and from glorious blue-sky sunshine to clagged-in 500m sea fog. For all the info, and to make sure you don't miss out in 2018, put a bookmark on Daily race reports below, and a gallery of images at

And for the record – no three-boat divisions, and no whining from competitors when they don't win. There are a few grown ups and some regattas in this part of the world that could learn a thing or two here.

Beer time for thirsty sailors. Audi Hamilton Island Raceweek 2015.  Guy Nowell ©

Sailors in Asia should take more notice of the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Amid the usual phrases about “sailing in paradise” etc there's an awful lot of truth. The Whitsundays are a properly fabulous cruising ground, and where there are lots of islands you can create lots of courses. Think Port Shelter in Hong Kong, on a much bigger scale, and add in substantially reliable breeze and Queensland winter sunshine, perfect. 250+ boats in the fleet. Some very seriously posh socials – the beautiful people from Sydney are falling over themselves to be at AHIRW, and they know how to party! And best of all, chartering a boat really is a piece of cake. Keep the budget under control by sleeping on board – the temperature is just right, there are General Stores right beside the marina, and the waterfront bar scene is a happenin' gig every night. Really, what are you waiting for?

World Sailing has awarded the next Youth Sailing Worlds to Sanya. “Sanya is an ambitious host city and has exceptional experience of running world class sailing events and welcoming international visitors,” says the press release. There's always great optimism expressed about sailing in China, but our experience is that it doesn't always come up to expectations. WS seem to be fixated on China, as if it were a goose about to lay huge clutches of golden eggs. Which, of course, is the point - money, not sailing.

Standing by on 72.

Guy Nowell, Asia Editor

Hong Kong Race Week – Day 1
RHKYC Media,
The opening ceremony included remarks by Race Chairman Peter Davies, Hong Kong Sailing Federation's Tong Yui Shing and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Vice Commodore, John Woo. The assembled crowd also heard from Sailors of the Sea representatives, John Crawford and Jackie Truhol.... [more]

Hong Kong Race Week – Day 2
RHKYC Media,
With the limited breeze in the vicinity of Middle Island, the decision was made to move the 100+ Optimist fleet to Tai Tam Bay where there was likely to be more breeze. Multiple ribs took up the task to tow the fleet the 3.5nm to Tai Tam Bay.... [more]

HK Raceweek 2017- sunshine, breeze, fog (all of them)
RHKYC Media,
The forecast for the morning was for a light breeze at first and that's precisely what it was – but a little too light to put it mildly. RO Barry Truhol said shortly before 1000hrs, 'we are sat in the middle of Stanley Bay; Round Island zero breeze, zero knots; Stanley Bay, zero breeze, zero knots; out towards Tai Tam Bay zero breeze, zero knots. (Spoiler alert: it didn't last).... [more]

Hong Kong Raceweek – plenty of breeze, and fog-
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
Lots of boats out on the water for Hong Kong's no 1 dinghy regatta of the year, which is also a part of the Asian Sailing Federation Youth Cup. Lasers, Optimists, 29ers, windsurfers, 2.4m class, 420s, 470s, 200+ boats (who have I missed?).... [more]

Hong Kong Raceweek. Asia's biggest small boat regatta wraps in style
RHKYC Media,
It was an awesome week with very challenging conditions for some of the sailors.... [more]

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 – NOR posted, entries rolling in
Rob Mundle, AHIRW Media,
Many say that the setting for Race Week cannot be bettered: award-winning Hamilton Island sits as the centrepiece among 68 uninhabited tropical islands, and the magnificent Great Barrier Reef is just over the horizon. The majority of the courses for racing weave their way around many of these islands, and the predominant breeze is a south-east tradewind.... [more]

SEA-EX Boat Show, Manila, Philippines
Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News,
With over 7,000 islands and rich marine biodiversity, the Philippines has long been eyed as a possible hub for the leisure boating industry in Asia. However, almost a decade since the start of the campaign to boost the country's boating industry, the project has yet to see significant developments.... [more]

Sanya awarded Youth Sailing World Championships
Daniel Smith - World Sailing,
The 2017 selection process opened in November 2016 after the Israeli Sailing Association exercised the right to withdraw from hosting the 2017 edition as a final contract had not been concluded.... [more]

Vendée Globe – Slow down, you move too fast
Vendée Globe,
After the arrival of five skippers last week, there are now only two left at sea this morning: Pieter Heerema and Sébastien Destremau. The Dutch skipper has been forced to slow down to attempt to let the gales move away ahead of him in the Bay of Biscay.... [more]

Land Rover BAR Academy with big ambitions in Extreme Sailing Series
Extreme Sailing Series,
Land Rover BAR Academy today becomes the final team to join the line-up for the season opener in Muscat, as it launches its second campaign in the world's leading global Stadium Racing circuit.... [more]

Unreal acts of seamanship
Brian Hancock,
It was a pleasure to watch Kiwi Conrad Coleman cross the finish line to complete his Vendée Globe. He lapped the planet without using any kind of fossil fuels; just wind and solar to power an array of instruments as well as the all important (and power hungry) auto-pilot.... [more]

JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiff images from Race 2 in the fresh breeze
Michael Chittenden,
Michael Chittenden was riding on the Camera Cat for Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for 18ft skiffs, and provided this image gallery for the day, in which Yamaha (NZ) took her second win from as many races in the seven race series. Today's race was sailed in a fresh offshore breeze, with yesterday's rain giving way to blue skies making for a magnificent day for skiff sailing.... [more]

America's Cup - Japanese launch new Challenger in Bermuda
Softbank Team Japan,
A historic day today at the Dockyards in Bermuda as SoftBank Team Japan unveiled their brand new America's Cup Class race boat, Hikari, the next-generation boat designed to win the first ever America's Cup for a Japanese flagged challenger. Hikari, meaning “flash of light”, was selected from over 430 names submitted by fans in Japan through a nationwide contest held by SoftBank Corp. in the le... [more]

Vendee Globe - Video of Conrad Colman finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Vendee Globe,
Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race, which he completed under jury rig after being dismasted 700nm from the finish. In Foresight Natural Energy Colman became the first New Zealand sailor to complete the Vendee Globe, he also became the first in eight editions of the race to sail the entire race using only renewable energy sources.... [more]

49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Transpacific Yacht Club,
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.... [more]

18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1,
Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain... [more]

Tawera Racing joins Extreme Sailing Series line-up in Muscat
Extreme Sailing Series,
The seventh challenger for Act one is announced today in the form of New Zealand-flagged Tawera Racing, which will compete as a full season entry.... [more]

Gladwell's Line - AC50 Roll Call shows several late or absent
Richard Gladwell,,
The AC50 unveiling/launch/sailing call-sheet has had a few additions since Land Rover BAR were the first to launch on February 6 - the earliest day permitted under the 28-day voluntary Blackout amendment to the Protocol governing the current event.... [more]

An awe inspiring start to the RORC Caribbean 600
RORC Press,
The ninth edition started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean enjoying sparkling conditions. A southeasterly breeze, occasionally gusting up to 15 knots and a relatively calm sea state provided conditions for the perfect start with some close battles on the water.... [more]

UK Flying 15 celebrates 70th anniversary at RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show
Emma Slater – RYA,
To kick start their 70th Anniversary year the UK Flying Fifteen Association are asking everyone who sails an International Flying Fifteen or keelboat, to join them at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 04-05 March (Alexandra Palace, London), to get the celebrations under way.... [more]

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ elaborates on the pedal-powered AC50
Richard Gladwell/Peter Montgomery,
Kevin Shoebridge is now COO of Emirates Team New Zealand, working alongside his long-time friend and nemesis CEO Grant Dalton. At last Thursday's AC50 christening and launch ceremony, Shoebridge spoke to top international sailing commentator, Peter Montgomery about the 35th America's Cup campaign, the change, and growth of the team, and compared the current boat and Cup to previous editions.... [more]

America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on why Emirates Team NZ went cycling
Richard Gladwell, NZ,
After the revelation that Emirates Team NZ had switched from grinders to cyclists, how did the potentially game-breaking development remain a secret for so long? 'The team started work on the project three years ago, but the actual testing started 18-24 months ago,' explained skipper and Sailing Director, Glenn Ashby. 'The team has done well to keep it under wraps for all this time.... [more]

J Class to race its first ever World Championship this year
International Maxi Association,
Just over one hundred years on from the advent of the Universal Rule, to which they were originally built, the J Class will this year get to race its first ever World Championship.... [more]

Al Hasni guides Omani team to victory in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
Oman Sail,
EFG Bank Monaco skipper Douillard vowed to avenge the defeat in Leg 2, a 140-mile sprint from Sohar to Khasab on the beautiful Musandam Peninsula, the second of five offshore stages that will see the fleet race 763 miles around the Arabian Gulf.... [more]

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