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J/Teams love China Coast Race Week

by J/Boats 27 Oct 2021 18:40 PDT
China Coast Race Week © RHKYC / Vivian Ngan

Perhaps the most popular regatta run in Asia may be the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's China Coast Regatta.

Held over the course of a long weekend, the racers are treated to a wide variety of courses sailing around government marks and the island archipelago that surrounds Hong Kong Island. In the end, the fleet was treated to a solid seven-race event that saw a wide variety of weather conditions. Needless to say, the three J/Teams participating reveled in the challenging racing.

Here are the daily reports below.

Day One- Wet and Windy

After the passing of two tropical storms in the space of a week, the first day of the rescheduled China Coast Regatta 2021 saw 6-8 kts of easterly breeze to start the first race.

Twenty-one boats took to the race track which was located southeast of Hong Kong's Lamma Island. All IRC racing divisions were sent off on a windward / leeward to start the day's action with no major incidents taking place on the race track.

With the rain starting to kick-in and a building breeze throughout Race 2 it was up to 20 kts at the end of second race, absolutely soaking all sailors and the Race Management team alike.

In IRC Racer 3 Division, Andrew Pidden's J/99 Juice took two bullets to lead the class. Meanwhile, Nick Southward's J/109 Whiskey Jack posted a 3-5 to end the day in 4th position. Then, in IRC Race 2 Division, Gerry Sonnemans' J/111 Juggernot had 4-3 to end the day in 4th position.

Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen was pleased with how Race Day went saying, "today started a bit slowly in terms of wind and weather and some teams do not have full crew, but we will have three windward/leeward courses for tomorrow in forecasted heavier conditions. The Island course lasted for around 2.5 hours. I hope everyone has a good rest to prepare for tomorrow's racing."

Day Two- Sunny & Postcard Perfect

The breeze picked up for Day 2 with an 8 kts northerly breeze and blue sky greeting sailors as they reached the race track - a complete contrast to yesterday's weather.

30 boats came out for racing. The IRC Racer classes sailed two windward / leeward courses to start with and then a 9.0nm buoy course to end the day.

As the day progressed, the breeze built to around 15-20 kts, making for the best sailing conditions Hong Kong has to offer. As a result of the building breeze, there were some broaches, and one boat even dragged the leeward mark far away from its location. But racing in general went well.

In IRC Racer 3, Pidden's J/99 Juice posted a 2-1-1 for the day to have a firm grip on the post position in their division. Meanwhile, Southward's J/99 Whiskey Jack had a steady day with a 3-2-4 record to move into 3rd position. In IRC Race 2, Sonnemans' J/111 Juggernot had a 3-3-4 tally to move into third place for the regatta.

Day Three- Champagne & Shades- Perfect Sailing

The last day of the regatta certainly lived up to its reputation of champagne sailing conditions with 15-20 kts of northeasterly breeze, blue sky, and a choppy sea at the race area southeast of Lamma Island.

All divisions were sent on two-lap windward/leewards to start the day and there were quite a few broaches and ripped kites which resulted in a few retirements.

With the Strong Monsoon signal in force all day, Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen said, "we feared it would have been really windy. But actually, we had an average of 16-17 kts, gusting to 20 kts. There were two massive gusts up to 32 kts and it was very exciting!" He added, "we set the longest courses we could and finally put on a three-lap course for the IRC races that would keep them racing for at least an hour. For the three-day China Coast Regatta, we set different types of courses, including two and three-lap windward/leewards and two Island courses. I hope the sailors are happy about this arrangement."

The heavier breeze created some place changes from the two previous days. In IRC Racer 3, Pidden's J/99 Juice won the class with ease, posting a 3-2 in the finale for a total of 8 pts net. Nick Southward's J/109 Admiralty Harbour- Whiskey Jack came roaring back in the breezy conditions, winning both races to leap onto the podium, taking the silver medal... a sweep for the two J/Teams! Meanwhile, in the IRC Race 2 Division, Sonnemans' J/111 Juggernot closed the regatta with a pair of 3rds to take the bronze medal!

Click here for more China Coast Race Week sailing information.

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