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Boase Cohen & Collins Interschools Sailing Festival 2024

by Guy Nowell 12 Mar 22:36 PDT 09-10 March 2024
Boase Cohn & Collins Interschools Sailing Festival 2024 © RHKYC / Guy Nowell

It was cold, it was wet, it had 29kt bullets coming through the Middle Island gap, and it was as much fun as you can have on the water with a fleet of Picos, Fevas and Fusions, and 214 young sailors in 26 teams from 19 schools. Yee-hah! Welcome to two days of three-boat team racing based out of RHKYC Middle Island. Why there aren't more team racing events in the sailing calendar is a mystery.

Saturday was chilly and gusty - very. After a good deal of consideration, RO Elberti Uiterwaal-Postma reduced the usual vaguely trapezoid course to a triangle, something like 0.3nm overall. Yes, this is a short, sharp, racing programme! The lulls were down in the 0-2 kts range, and the gusts were ferocious. The best tacticians were the ones who spent all the time looking towards Repulse Bay, and the best helms were those that could dump a mainsheet really quickly. Even so, there must have been records broken for capsizes in a given length of time.

The meteo played havoc with the racing programme, which needed constant adjustment 'on the fly'. Thank goodness for excellent radio comms between the RO and the change-over police, and the calm and clear announcements from DJ Kevin who spins a good tune at the same time.

Sunday was colder, and equally gusty, with the addition of rain showers and an almost continuous fine English drizzle. By 16.00h the programme was down to the short strokes, four schools in sudden-death 'finals' for the honours. These races produced some real hammer-and-tongs team racing that had all spectators on the edge of their very damp seats. Winners of the Feva division were Hong Kong Academy over French International School, and ISF and HK International School in 3rd and 4th places. The Pico/Fusion division was won by Chinese International School 2 from Jockey Club Ti-I College, with Meisha Bilingual School and CIS 1 completing the podium.

Organisationally, this was a tough one. Logically, just one complete Round Robin for demanded 148 races, but that was never going to happen. Some clever maths supported by excellent race management produced results from 78 races - which, given the weather was nothing short of a miracle.

There's a big gallery of action-packed photos here: www.guynowell.com/-/galleries/new-gallery/2024-boase-cohen-collins-interschools-sailing-fe To download FREE lo-res images, just hover over a thumbnail and then click on the 'down' arrow that appears. To order hi-res files or prints, click on the shopping cart.

Many thanks to the huge number of event management volunteers who kept everything going both on and off the water, to the Middle Island staff who set up, break down, and keep everyone fed in the bit in the middle, and of course to the sponsors Boase Cohen & Collins who went over-and-above by presenting the two winning teams with Sailing Scholarship cheques for HK$10,000. Bravo, and thank you.

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