Evolution Racing, Blondie and Red Kite II rule the day
16 Oct 10: Wind Guru promised more of the 16knot breeze that featured on Day 1 of the China Coast Regatta and Wind Guru did not lie! Day 2 was UK-Halsey Sails Day, which offered the Racing Divisions three windward leeward races, while Cruising and HKPN were scheduled to head off on an islands course after one windward/leeward in the morning.
Under a grey sky and on a lumpy sea, RHKYC Race Officer Steve Bourne started proceedings on time, sending the J/80 fleet on a two lap course, before sending Cruiser and HKPN fleets on the same course. Racing Division A were set a three lap race and were on their way when an incoming barge crane caused the RO to raise the AP and delay the Racing B and Racing C starts for 30 minutes while the ship moved outside the racing zone.
Champagne sailing with a constant 16 knots gave another line honours to Jelik 3 and another first on corrected time to Evolution Racing in A, Blondie in B and Anthony Root's Archambault 35, Red Kite II, in C. J/80 Hakawati, helmed by Jim Johnstone, claimed her first bullet of the regatta, while Simon Boyde's Cave Canem, extended her dominance in the IRC Cruising division. In HKPN, Jack Ng chalked up a first for No One Else.
With shredded spinnakers to keep the Day Sponsor happy, and broaches galore, it was classic CCR sailing conditions.
While Hong Kong has a reputation for "T shirts and shorts" sailing, it would be a big mistake to think that means it's a cushy number. With Elektra retired after steering problems, Red Eye and Bodicea calling it a day in consideration of sea sick crew and a J/80 calling it a day, Bourne set the courses for the second race, namely a 19nm figure of eight for the HKPN and Cruising fleets and more windward leewards for the J/80 and Racing fleets.
More of the same, with Evolution Racing, Blondie and Red Kite II staying in the winners' enclosure and building up unassailable (bar disasters) positions at the top of their groups, however the results belie the level of close competition which has been offered by their respective classes.
And so to the final race, which featured the first sunshine of the day, and a rapid fire 1.3nm course for the Racing A and Racing B boats to test their spinnaker work and a 1.0nm course for Racing C. The challenge? To break the row of firsts enjoyed by Ray Roberts and Anthony Root. The result? Another first for Evolution Racing and Red Kite II, with Blondie claiming another first to add to her almost-perfect score.
Cave Canem took another first from the IRC Cruiser islands course, and No One Else also took a double for the day.
The last word goes to Jamie Boag, crewing on EFG Bank Mandrake, mid-beer at the regatta village after racing; "I haven't had so much fun since China Sea Series donkey's years ago!" and another 400 sailors probably agree with him.
Updates and Regatta
Results at http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/chinacoastraceweek/results10.htm
Evolution Sails AYGP
and Yacht of the Year pointscore
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