Royal Hong Kong Yacht ClubChina Coast Regatta 2010
RHKYC - China Coast Regatta 2010

Day 1 - Friday 15th October

From Lindsay Lyons - RHKYC

And there racing...

15 Oct 10: Competitors arriving at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Middle Island venue this morning were greeted with a steady drizzle, which quickly gave way to the bright and breezy weather expected from Hong Kong's foremost "big boat" regatta.

Day 1 was Simpson Marine Day and the conditions off the south east of Lamma Island, on Hong Kong's south side were ideal for the first race of the day - a steady 14 to 16 knots north easterly allowed Race Officer Steve Bourne to set a three lap windward leeward for racing divisions A, B and C and a two lap race for the J/80 fleet.

The first guns were reserved for the IRC Cruising and HKPN fleets, who had a single Islands race to keep them busy for the day, taking them on a 20nm trip past Po Toi Island, Shek O, and Beaufort before finishing at Round Island.

With Racing A champing at the bit, Bourne allowed the J/80 fleet to get started on their first windward leg, before starting the fleet of four TP52s, together with Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52, Hi Fi and Frank Pong's Reichel Pugh 75, Jelik 3 . Whilst Jelik 3 unsurprisingly led the fleet, Ray Roberts mounted an impressive chase on Evolution Racing to finish only 3 minutes behind on the water and five minutes ahead of the opposition on corrected time.

One in the bag for last year's defending champion.

Racing B have the numbers this year, with 15 boats in the division. Last year's champion, the Isler/Taylor owned Mills 41 Ambush was faced with tough new competition in the shape of step-sister, Mills 40.5 EFG Bank Mandrake 2 and King 40 Blondie VI whose last major outing was at the Rolex Commodores' Cup.

It was tight racing all the way, with Ambush giving time to EFG Bank Mandrake 2,  but while Ambush took the gun, it was Helmuth Hennig's Blondie VI which slipped in under the radar to take first on corrected time.

In a smaller, but no less competitive C Division, Anthony Root's Archambault 35, Red Kite II corrected out less than a minute ahead of Nick Southward's J109, Whiskey Jack. With Monsoon finishing just inside the cut-off limit, the Race Officer wasted no time in raising the AP and setting the Islands' courses to round out the day in 16 knots. A remarkably well-behaved fleet recorded only one OCS for the day.

Round Island was the finishing line for all the day's Islands courses, and a steady procession of boats, starting with IRC Cruiser, Cave Canem, finished their racing and went "home" to Middle Island for beers and prizegiving in the Regatta village, with prizes presented by James Rainer of Simpson Marine.

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Image credits to RHKYC / Guy Nowell
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