sailing in Hong Kong
In line with recent tradition, a significant wind shift just before the first start heralded the raising of the AP, but after a few minutes, the breeze steadied at 11 knots 080 degrees and Race Officer Steve Bourne was able to get the IRC Racing division underway, albeit with some eager entrants being over at the start.
With a new format to this popular Asian Regatta, the Cruising boats will be set an increased number of Islands courses over the three days of the Regatta, while the Racing Divisions will compete over five windward/leewards and two Islands courses, with a shorter course set for the Division C boats.
With Bourne setting a three lap course for Racing Div A, two laps (long) for B and two laps (short) for C, the race team needed to be on their toes to discern which divisions were coming in for a finish, but the desired effect was achieved, and there was a minimum of 'hanging around' for the big boats while the tail enders crossed the finish line.
In the meantime the Cruising boats were sent off on an Islands course - 20.5nm for the Premier Cruisers, taking them past TCS1 & 2 then back to base via Beaufort and Stanley, and a 15nm figure of eight around the Southern Islands for the Cruisers.
With Frank Pong road testing Jelik III and Ray Roberts racing TP52 Evolution Racing in her first Regatta (in fact, at welcome drinks, Roberts confessed that he hadn't actually been on the boat, on the water, up to that point), Div A was all up for grabs and, while it was Pong who got the gun, it was Roberts who cleaned up on corrected time, ahead of FfreeFire 52 and Mandrake.
Div B was extremely competitive, with Ambush and Orient Xpress over at the start, but both making a comeback for the Mills 41 to take line honours and first on corrected time ahead of the X-41 and Bashford 41, Intrigue.
Div C was made up of the Archambault 35 class, together with two J boats and an X boat. Helmut Hennig's Men at Work narrowly pipped Anthony Root's Red Kite II, with Nick Southward's J109 Whiskey Jack coming between them and Lowell Chang's Dexter II.
After finishing new Flying Tiger 10, Kiasu, Bourne got proceedings underway again with a 20.5nm Islands course for Div A, 18.6nm for Div B and 16nm for Div C.
Either the RO or the wind gods were inspired, as all fleets came into the Round Island finish in around 14 knots, inside the recommended time limits. Having started early, the Cruising Divisions came in after 31/2 hours racing, with Pete Churchouse's Moonblue 2 first on the water but Marcel Leidts' Blauwvoet winning Premier Cruising on corrected time and Simon Boyde's Cave Canem getting a double first in Cruising. Evolution Racing triumphed yet again in Div A, while Ambush and Orient Xpress repeated their result in Div B and Roxanne was the boat splitting Red Kite II and Men at Work from Dexter II.
With no protests, competitors enjoyed an early prize-giving, with Day Prizes of Zacapa Rum and Singleton of Glen Ord malt whisky being awarded to Ray Roberts (Evolution Racing) Drew Taylor/ Joachim Isler (Ambush), Anthony Root (Red Kite), Marcel Leidts (Premier Cruising) and Simon Boyde (Cruising).
For all the CCR 09 news updates and access to full results goto: http://www.chinacoastraceweek.com/
Each of the seven yachts and skippers entered in the CCR Racing A Class (Below) are eligible to score points in the 2009/10 AsianYachting Grand Prix Championship. Were ultimately after 10 regattas the Skipper and Yacht of the Year is crowned each season. Check out the progressive scores so far this season at: http://asianyachting.com/news/AYGP09-10.htm
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