Saturday, 11 May 2013

1010 4G Match Racing : Williams, Robertson and Tiller on Top after Day One

Ian Williams and David Gilmour crash. Image copyright RHKYC/Lindsay Lyons

by Koko Mueller
A minute's silence was observed ahead of this morning's daily briefing in memory of Andrew "Bart" Simpson who tragically lost his life during training on San Francisco Bay ahead of this summer’s America’s Cup. As crews readied their boats for the 1O1O 4G International Match Racing Regatta, black backstay flags were added as a mark of respect before the boats made their way out into Victoria Harbour for the first races of the round robin element.
With all the weather forecasting tools at her disposal, Race Officer, Inge Strompf-Jepsen elected to move away from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Kellett Island base in order to benefit from the steady 5 to 6kt easterly available in the area to the east of Hung Hom.
The first five flights featured fifteen matches – in effect a ‘mini’ round robin for skippers Williams, Gilmour, Jakobsen, Park, Backe and Lui. Lui had a great start, edging out Gilmour in his first match, however as the overseas skippers got to grips with Hong Kong harbour sailing, their experience started to show and spectators were treated to something of a start tactics masterclass.
Phil Robertson's Waka Racing team. Image copyright RHKYC/Lindsay Lyons

One of the most competitive matches was Williams/ Gilmour, with Gilmour incurring a 0.5 point damage penalty for a clash close to the windward mark. At the end of flight 5, the scores stood at;
Williams            5-0
Backe               3-2
Gilmour             3-2 (Pen -0.5)
Park                 2-3
Jakobsen          1-4
Lui                    1-4

Flight six featured a complete changeover of skippers, allowing the other half of the draw to get some time on the water. The breeze was swinging southwards and softening and by the time flight six was finished, sailors were eyeing up a storm approaching from the west, but there was just enough puff left to run flight seven. At 1500hrs, the RO was forced to display the AP due to reduced visibility, lightning, heavy rain and a lack of wind.
Displaying the L Flag, Strompf-Jepsen roamed the harbour, trying to find some breeze to get the racing underway again, but finally admitted defeat and raised AP over H, allowing the bedraggled competitors to return to the clubhouse.
Waka Racing. Image copyright RHKYC/Lindsay Lyons
At the post-race debriefing, it was confirmed that the scheduled start for Saturday’s racing would be 0930hrs, with a continuation of the round robin. Current scores for the second tranche are;
Robertson         2-0
Tiller                 2-0
Soh                  1-1
Ericsson           1-1
Seah                 0-2
Mead                0-2