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Macau Cup and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau-Greater Bay Area Cup 2019 - finale

by Guy Nowell 13 Jan 2019 08:39 PST 10-13 January 2019
Macau Cup and Greater Bay Cup 2019. Parade of Sail © Guy Nowell

The world’s longest-titled regatta wrapped up today with two races for each regatta (or division, if you prefer). Grey, muggy, and occasionally blustery, the Beneteau 40.7 (Macau Cup) division motor-sailed from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Macau Tower for the benefit of Macau Tourism, and then set off towards Hac Sa Beach. The IRC division joined in for the ‘delivery’ and in overwhelmingly grey conditions both fleets completed two geometric courses in 12-14 kts of breeze from 110 degrees. “It dropped to 11kts occasionally,” reported RO Ross Chisholm, “but it was good steady breeze, and a great end to what has been a really good inaugural event for Macau.”

The Macau Cup (Beneteau 40.7s) was won by Team WYC Lake Constance (GER), just one point ahead of Marenostrum Racing Club (FRA) and one more point in front of Subic Sailing Turquoise (PHI). The Philippines went into the final day’s racing just four points shy of the lead, and won the first race. A poor start in the second race forced them to the wrong side of the race course, and after that it was a catch up game for the highest-placed Asian crew in the regetta. Skipper Jun Avecilla was philosophical: “We go yacht racing. You can’t win them all! This was a great opener for the Macau Cup, and we look forward to being back here next year for another tilt at the trophy.”

The French crew Marenostrum Racing Club, led by sailing superstar Lionel Péan, arrived at a water-driven prizegiving in proper style with ice, pastis, and saucisson Lyonnais. The GER contingent said, “It was a great regatta, and we really enjoyed winning. The competition was tough, and we started the last day with a slim lead which we worked hard to defend. This was good quality competition, and we are very happy to be the winners.”

The IRC title (Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macao-Greater Bay Area International Cup – this one needs a new copywriter) went to Team Wanboyu Sailing after the Jury failed to uphold a protest from Team Blu who finished in second place.

After a noticeably 'dry' prizegiving ceremony, the combined fleets made up for the drought at an excellent dinner at the Rio Grill in Fisherman’s Wharf.

Every new event has teething problems followed by growing pains. The Macau Cup is presently a carbon copy of the China Cup, right down to ‘borrowing’ boats from CCIR to make up the Beneteau 40.7 division. If it is to distinguish itself as an individual event, it will have to do “something different.” Weather-wise, it has been an unattractive four days – feeble wind, insufficient wind, just enough wind, and wind accompanied by cold grey skies. Lovely tropical sailing – not. The thing that really defines a regatta is the quality of the competition. Better 20 boats in two divisions than 28 boats in six divisions. Whether dollops of prize money make any difference to the entry list remains to be seen, but certainly a charter-able fleet and free hotel accommodation make a difference. Are we seeing the development of a new style of regatta here? Do I smell an editorial...?

Accommodation on this occasion was provided by Venue Support Partner the Harbourview Hotel, less than 100m from the Fisherman's Wharf marina, who did a great job of looking after some 300 sailors. Along with Rio Grill and Seafood Market, part of the same group (and even closer to the boats) whose legendary grill dinners are going to hang on in the collective memory for a long time!

Meanwhile, many congratulations to the winners, and commiserations to the also-rans. The competition’s the thing. Come for the competition and enjoy it.

For further details on Asia’s most clumsily-named regatta, please visit www.macaocup.com

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