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Edgartown Race Weekend - Preview: Beau Geste and Fling 16 to match up in IRC

by Barby MacGowan 22 Jul 2019 17:28 PDT 25-27 July 2019
Beau Geste will sail in IRC Division at Edgartown Race Weekend. © Stephen Cloutier

Karl Kwok of Hong Kong has never raced at the Edgartown Yacht Club's Edgartown Race Weekend; however, it has always been on his sailing Bucket List.

This year, he's following through by entering his magnificent 2018 Botin-designed IRC 52 Beau Geste in the event's 'Round-the-Island Race on Saturday, July 27 and the 'Round-the-Buoys racing that precedes it on Thursday and Friday, July 25-26. Many on his crew are the same who sailed for many years here with Martha's Vineyard resident and regatta champion Jim Swartz aboard his IRC 52 Vesper. That includes Gavin Brady, who has sailed with Kwok since 1995 and whose role it is to work closely with Kwok to manage the Beau Geste program and serve as helmsman while Kwok serves as skipper.

"He has heard all of the great stories," said Brady about Kwok, who has raced extensively around the world with a long line of successful boats, also named Beau Geste. "The Vineyard is an awesome destination, and the club has a great feel to it with loads of history. The 'Round-the-Island Race is a very tactical race with tides and plenty of passing opportunities - always enjoyable and never the same. This will be as much a great adventure as a race."

Sailing against Beau Geste in IRC division will be Fling 16, a Botin 56 owned and skippered by the UK's Irvine Laidlaw, who also has chalked up a string of international racing successes aboard his predecessor sailboats of the same name.

"They have a new boat and will show up very competitive," said Brady, adding that Beau Geste raced against Fling 16 in June in Newport, and it was very close. "They are a strong team. We will have some tight races, but both teams get along well and a few drinks at the Edgartown Yacht Club after racing will be enjoyable also."

This summer, Beau Geste has won the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, Block Island Race Week, and currently is leading at the NYYC 175th Anniversary Regatta.

"We are looking forward to closing the session off with racing in the Vineyard," said Brady. On a side note, this will be Brady's first event where his daughter Carrington will be sailing as tactician for Beau Geste. "She learned to sail on the Vineyard in the Optimist Dinghy a few years back. It's very cool to see her grow into a very good sailor, now 16 years old. I am sure she will be giving me plenty of advice during the three days of racing!"

Edgartown Race Weekend divisions are for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE (including Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), Classic, One-Design, Multihull and Doublehanded boats. 'RTI/'RTS and 'RTB are scored separately, with top-three prizes awarded in each class.

Registration deadline for the 'Round-the-Island and 'Round-the Sound races is Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (Registration deadline for team sign-up is Monday, July 22.) Registration deadline for the 'Round-the-Buoy races is Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

A Mount Gay-sponsored "Jump-Up" party on Friday night (July 26) and awards on both Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (July 28) round out the schedule.

For more information, visit www.rtirace.org or contact . To request a mooring, contact Clare Sullivan at . On Facebook follow Edgartown Yacht Club Racing.

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