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World Maritime Merchants Forum YMC Alma Mater Race 2023 concludes

by RHKYC Media 18 Dec 2023 01:43 PST 17 December 2023

The annual occasion for alumni from the same academic institute to race together and show off their sailing ability, the Alma Mater Race sponsored by World Maritime Merchants Forum, took place on 17 December in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour.

Organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Young Members Committee, Alma Mater Race is a fun racing event aimed at promoting the sport of sailing to a younger generation along with building a soft linkage to colleges / local universities. On this occasion teams were formed based on their affiliated schools - be it a local university, international school or secondary school, as long as at least half the team has the same affiliation.

Amongst the 62 entries, the largest participating academic association was the University of Hong Kong with nine boats, with two teams of professionals on board including a group of HKU dentists who formed a team for the second year and a group of HKU Medical faculty alumni who work together at United Christian Hospital. The second largest participating academic association was Wan Yan College with six entries, followed by St. Joseph's College and St. Paul Coed College both with four entries. Many sailors participated fully decked out in team uniforms, waving college flags ready to do battle on the water and claim victory in this fun annual race.

Using RHKATI handicaps and PHS ratings, the boats were given staggered starts at 10-minute intervals with the slowest ATI group starting first, followed by the PHS division and the fastest IRC boats starting last. Given an easterly of around 8 to 10kts, Race Officers Mark Dowding and Ian Fleming elected to choose a course that took the fleet from the Club start line, through Lei Yue Mun Gap, round TCS4 and Junk Bay Mark, then sail back to the Club finish line. However after all divisions had started, the wind dropped significantly resulting in a huge park up near North Point and Lei Yue Mun. At the end they shortened the course near Kowloon Bay.

The Race Officer Mark Dowding said "despite the cold weather and the challenging conditions, it was a good race with most sailors crossing the finishing line with cheers and happy smiles."

When the final results were in, Magic 25, Phoenix (Chinese University of Hong Kong) helmed by Kit Tong took the win under RHKATI division, followed by Zulf (ESF) skippered by Warwick Downes and then Sea Biscuit (RHKYC Sharks Team) skippered by Valenti Michele.

In the PHS division, Harpseal representing The Rowing Team Alumni from HKUST skipped by Raymond Yip took 1st place with DEA II representing Wah Yan College (skipped by Tak Him and Terence Cheng) in 2nd place and Easy Breezy II from Queen's College Astronomers' Club (skippered by Castor Kong) in 3rd Place.

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