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2020 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Cup Regatta & Macao Cup International Regatta Day 2

by Guy Nowell 10 Jan 08:25 PST 9-12 January 2020
A new island to look at. Macau Sugram Seamo. 2020 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Cup Regatta & Macao Cup International Regatta. © Guy Nowell

The mouth of the Pearl River Estuary is littered with islands, and a great many of them have been ignored by anyone except a few fishermen as long as anyone can remember. Until recently. Flying into Hong Kong or Macao from the south west and you pass over a great many of them. Arriving by sea from Hainan and you have to thread a maze. The nearest one to Macao is Huangmao Dao with little Xiaoputai Dao and its lighthouse close by. From the regatta start area it's a 16nm trip there and back again.

First away was the IRC fleet racing for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Cup Regatta, followed by the Beneteau 40.7 division competing for the Macao Cup. First of all, a windward-leeward sausage, and then straight towards the islands after the leeward gate rounding. A fetch to the first turning headland at the north end of Huangmao Dao turned into a close reach to the south end of the island, and then a spinnaker leg across the lighthouse. A circumnavigation of the light pointed the fleet back towards the finish on a square reach. There was a bit of 'haze' in the air today, so it was a case of "follow the aeroplanes" for the leg to the finish - Macao airport is just next door to the race area.

Zhong Jing Sheng's Macau Sugram Seamo very quickly proved that a Soto 40 really is a 40-footer with attitude, taking off on the leg to the first island with plenty of attitude. There was 12-14kts of breeze and a bit of chop on the water, but nothing enough to slow anyone down. Seamo led the fleet, both divisions, from wire to wire, but 18nm just wasn't enough to unwind 1.226 when the next boat in the list is sailing off 1.076. Seamo had a great day's sailing no doubt, but fared less well in the result with a 6th place. Winner in the IRC division was Team Wink sailing a Beneteau 40.7, with another lightweight flyer, Tuo Ting Yi Zu (Yanmar 2YM15 in second place and Alan Cheung's Italia 9.98, Blu, in third.

In the Beneteau OD division it was Alar Volmer (Team Windy, EST) all the way to the lighthouse, just a few boat lengths in front of series leader Team Pean (Lionel Péan, FRA). Péan slipped into the lead on the last leg home to take the victory. Third by a whisker was Yury Firsov (RUS) and the Vivat Sailing Team. The Philippines crew on Subic Sailing Europa skippered by Jesus Avecilla finished in fourth place, and is sitting on equal points with Vivat, and is looking for a little sweet revenge at having been knocked off the podium on the final day of racing last year.

This wasn't a race course that called for tactical decisions. It was trim-for-boatspeed stuff, and keep the distance covered to the minimum possible. For Hong Kong sailors it was an early taste of the HHYC Typhoon Series in Port Shelter. As part of a series, why not?

There's an earlier start tomorrow (10.00hrs) with the intention of three races for the keelboat divisions. The camera boat driver has discovered that it's a lot quicker going westabout around Macao than the other way - 6nm to the start area as against 9nm, with flat water and 30kts all the way. Set the alarm clock accordingly!

Racing resumes at 10.00hrs tomorrow. Standing by on 72.

Short Results:

1. Team Péan 1,3,1 (5)
2. Vivat Sailing Team 2,6,3 (11)
3. Team Windy 9,1,2 (12)
4. Subic Sailig Europa 3,5,4 (12)

Beneteau 40.7 OD
1. Blu 3,1,3 (7)
2. Macau Sugram Seamo 2,2,6 (10)
3. Tuo Ting Yi Zu 4,6,2 (12)
4. Daydream 5,3,4 (12)

Full results:

All other information:

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