Image copyright RHKYC/Guy Nowell
by Koko Mueller
Heavy overnight rain meant that conditions on the morning of before the first race of the RHKYC Spring Regatta were humid and windless but, undeterred, Race Officer Simon Boyde was out on the water early to rustle up a breeze and came back to shore with reports of 3 to 11kts SSW at the possible marks of the course.
As the best conditions were to the west of the usual race area, Boyde selected courses 71 and 72, more commonly associated with the Club’s Friday night Sunset Series racing. These courses included the start/ finish line as a gate for every lap, which caught out several competitors and forced 12 retirements after racing as boats were alerted to their error.
With great conditions for watching from the shore, there were gusts up to 15kts and several spectacular broaches along the Avenue of Stars. There were other moments where the breeze died and a strong ebb tide gave boats some problems in clearing the finish line, but ultimately, only one boat was out of time.
Races two and three take place tomorrow, with the first warning signal scheduled for 1105hrs.
Sunday dawned with the same overcast and humid conditions encountered on Day 1 of the Regatta but RO Simon Boyde scoured the Harbour and managed to conjure up a 3 to 10kt Westerly in the central area just off Kellett Island.
Setting up the start line in a 100 degree swing, Boyde was prepared to wait for the breeze to settle, however the weather gods smiled on him, the wind stabilised in the west and racing got under way as scheduled in 8kts and sunshine.
89 of the 96 entrants turned out for the second day of racing, with the Flying Fifteen Fleet forming the largest class with 14 entrants. The first race set everyone off on a simple two lap course giving maximum exposure to Hong Kong’s best harbour vantage points. The second race of the day used the same course, with the Flying Fifteens shortened at one lap.
A fantastic day was had by all, with a top breeze of 14kts. There were three protests heard and, after the RHKYC Pipe Band had entertained the masses, a rowdy prizegiving took place on the Lawn with prizes presented by Wellock Lo, distributor of Old Pulteney scotch whiskey and Chang soda water and Emily Wong from Official Regatta Beer sponsor, Heineken.
Big Boat Division 1 – Peninsula Signal 8 / Jamie McWilliam
Big Boat Division 2 – Red Kite II – Anthony Root
Big Boat HKPN – Happy Hou – Harry Leong
Dragon – Eaux Vives – Joseph Chu
Etchells – Gunga Din – Nick Burns
Flying Fifteen – French Fries – Akira Takada
Impala – Impala 1 – Mike Burrell
J/80 – Sea Biscuit – David Fan
Pandora – Windfall – Tom Ho
Ruffian – Victory 9 – Li Fook Hing
Magic 25 – Fly By Wire – Frank van Kempen
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club