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Tomes Cup 2024 at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

by Vivian Ngan 29 Apr 04:15 PDT 27 April 2024

The Tomes Cup took place in Victoria Harbour on 27 April, completing the series of four pursuit races that comprise the Top Dog Trophy Series and deciding the top performing boat for the season.

The race kicked off in a south easterly breeze of 4 to 8kts with 67 boats turning out at the start line. The Pandora fleet was first off, followed by the Ruffian, Dragon and Flying Fifteen classes. Chasing them down to the projected target finish time of 1630hrs were the Impala, J/80 and Etchells fleets, with the Magic, VX Ones and nine Big Boats bringing up the rear.

Race Officer Gareth Williams set a start line just off Hung Hom and sent the fleet off on four laps between Tai Koo Shing and Hung Hom before finishing at Kowloon Bay. The wind held on and gradually built up to 12kts (gusting up to 16kts), however the small boats struggled beating up to Hung Hom against a strong outgoing tide.

Pandora Windfall put in a huge effort, holding onto the lead until they were overtaken by Ruffian Buster on the first rounding of the windward mark at Hung Hom. Unfortunately, the wind softened after all Big Boats started the race and the Race Officer decided to shorten the course after the third rounding of the windward mark. The bigger boats took the advantage of beating up against the tide and chased steadily from behind, however, in the end it was Etchells Noddy which took 1st place, with Magic 25 Phoenix in second and Big Boat Capitano in third.

Post racing the Race Officer commented on the interesting day of ever-changing conditions, "We thought we had got the course down perfectly timed for the fleet to finish at 1630hrs however the wind had other ideas and died down. We had to finish the race at Dock Buoy instead and about 20 minutes later from when we should have done. It was just one of those things."

Following the race, a prize presentation was held at the Club, with prizes awarded not only to the various winners of the Tomes Cup, but also to the overall winner of the 2023-2024 Top Dog Trophy Series. Williams Mairs' Ruffian Buster emerged victorious as Top Dog with Denis Martinet/Drew Taylor's Cape 31 Capitano in 2nd place and Tom Ho's Pandora Windfall in 3rd.

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