Saturday, 17 May 2014

1010 4G Match Racing : Day One report from Hong Kong

Gunwoo Park and Sam Gilmour. Image copyright RHKYC

by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club media

With an impressive field from around the world joining four Hong Kong based skippers for this year’s 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Regatta, bright sunshine greeted Race Officer, Inge Strompf-Jepsen as she went in search of a race area this morning.

After some time spent considering a Club race track, Strompf-Jepsen decided that the wildly swinging breeze did not suit her criteria, and moved the committee boat northwards into Kowloon Bay where she was rewarded with a more stable breeze at around 220°, with around 40° of oscillation.

Ian Williams. Image copyright RHKYC

By 1020hrs, with the breeze building to 14kts, the RO was able to start the first flight, with Laurence Mead beating Herman Wong, Gunwoo Park (KOR) beating Wataru Sakamoto (JPN) and SAM Gilmour (AUS) signaling his intent by beating Ian Williams (GBR) in the first match. Flights two and three followed swiftly, but by flight five, the breeze was gusting to 20kts, being pushed ahead of a rain band with the direction holding reasonably stead. As the boats awaited the warning signal, a single bolt of lightning hit Laurence Mead’s mast. Everyone on board was unharmed, but it was a sign of things to come.

Laurence Mead and Wataru Sakamoto. Image copyright RHKYC

While starting flight six, Strompf-Jepsen was forced to AP for 25 minutes due to a lack of visibility and high winds caused by a rainstorm sweeping through from the west. By the time the band passed, the wind speed had dropped to 3kts and shifted, giving some concerns about the first match making the windward mark without tacking and precipitating yet another AP for match 2 and 3 of the flight.

With the boats struggling to move in the fading breeze, the Race Officer and Chief Umpire agreed that the best course of action was to raise AP over A (racing postponed, no more racing today) and get the boats back to the dock for some repair works.

Sam Gilmour. Image copyright RHKYC

Scores after seven flights;
Laurence Mead 4 – 3,1
Sam Gilmour 4 – 3,1
Ian Williams 4 – 3,1
Gunwoo Park 4 – 2,2
Wataru Sakamoto 4 – 1,3
Herman Wong 4 – 0,4
David Gilmour 2 – 2,0
William Tiller 2 – 2,0
Jeremy Koo 2 – 1,1
Maximilian Soh 2 – 1,1
Gordon Gregor 2 – 0,2
Lui Kam 2 – 0,2

Spinnaker work on the bow. Image copyright RHKYC

Flight eight gets underway first thing tomorrow morning, with the team under pressure to fit in a further 14 flights – double today’s total.