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2018 Turkish Airlines Around the Island Race

by RHKYC Media 19 Nov 2018 06:59 PST 18 November 2018
A busy start line - 2018 Turkish Airlines Around the Island Race © RHKYC / Michele Felder

In a complete contrast of conditions, the 2018 Turkish Airlines Around the Island Race kicked off in grey overcast skies until the fleet hit Cape D'Aguilar where the sailors hoisted their kites in beautiful blue skies as the first of the fleet approached Stanley headland.

195 boats competed in this year's event held yesterday which was first raced in 1864.

Taking the overall ATI win was Mark Thornburrow's Flying Phantom catamaran Flyer followed by Tat Choi Fung's Nacra 17 catamaran and Akira Sakai's 49er, Rocket Ron.

Race winner, Mark Thornburrow said of his win, "It was a fantastic race for us; the winds were perfect, the direction was good, not too strong - otherwise it gets a bit scary on the phantom. The conditions were probably 10 to 18 knots of wind which is about right for us. There was enough breeze to trapeze out and lift the hull going upwind, so it was great! We slowed down off of Green Island for 10 to 15 minutes but didn't quite stop. My crew, Andy Service, has sailed with me for the last ten years on and off. The best part of the race was going past Shek O and passing Frank Pong's Custom 70 Jelik."

The biggest yacht in the fleet was Karl Kwok's MOD Beau Geste and the smallest were the three 29ers which were all skipper by under sailors under the age of 19. Out of the 29ers, 15-year-old Malo Kennish received the Hayes Morgan Trophy for the first skipper under 18. MOD Beau Geste took the fasted elapsed time of 02h 16m 45s, narrowly missing out on the race record by 3m 34s.

Deputy Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen assisting Race Officer, Dave Nortonl summed up the conditions of the race, "There wasn't a lot of wind, but it was a steady breeze. The wind shifted from easterly to southeasterly and followed the fleet around, hence pushed the fleet through the Lamma Channel. We only had one hiccup at the end of the Lamma Channel coming towards Green Island; we had a short period where we had a few doldrums. However, the yachts came out quickly and were then heading back up into the harbour under 10 – 12kts with a knot of tide against them."

The prizegiving will be held tonight on the newly open Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club roof with views of the Hong Kong harbour and the last stretch of the Turkish Airlines Around the Island racecourse, where winners will also be taking home a business class flight to any destination in the world that is covered by Title Sponsors Turkish Airlines.

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