St. Regis China Coast Regatta returns to form
Published: Monday, 21 October 2013
RHKYC Event Media; Photos by RHKYC/Guy Nowell
The St. Regis China Coast Regatta enjoyed a big increase in winds from last year’s event, with the final day seeing 20 to 24 knots of breeze south of Hong Kong, in one of the region’s biggest yachting events. On the final day of competition, all divisions were scheduled to complete a windward/leeward followed by an islands course. In the absence of Ragamuffin90 it was left to Jelik to take line honours, but the battle royal was between the two TP52’s – Ray Roberts’ OneSails Racing (on 6 points going in to today) and Sam Chan’s FreeFire (on 8). Chan finished one minute ahead of Roberts on the water after three laps, but the Australian boat took first on corrected time. Meanwhile in Racer 1, Paul Winkelmann’s new HH42, Island Fling, took the gun 8 seconds ahead of Marcel Liedts’ Elektra, but had to concede first place on IRC and A40 Seawolf took the gun for Racer 2, only to be nudged into second by Red Kite II on corrected time.
Redeye kept up her perfect record in Cruiser Division, while Moonblue 2 took the gun for IRC Premier, and finally took first on corrected time ahead of Lighthorse and Pepper & Salt also kept up her dominance of HKPN. While DRO Sofia Mascia was finishing Cruiser and HKPN, PRO Strompf-Jepsen decided not to keep the racers hanging around and promptly set them off on their final race, an islands course around Beaufort and beyond of 21nm for Racer 0, 17nm for Racer 1 and 16nm for Racer 2.
It was then the turn of the Premier and Cruiser Divisions to embark on their final race, with Premier on a 17nm course and an 11nm route for Cruiser. The final start of the Regatta for HKPN went smoothly then Race Management was heartily relieved to lift the anchor and head for more sheltered waters at the finish line near Round Island.
The conditions were perfect for sailing, but also came with challenges, as many boats found out as they experienced gear failure of one sort or another. Ambush radioed in to report that she had lost her steering, but was able to fix a tiller and motor back to Kellett Island, while Signal 8 carried out an impromptu double-man-overboard drill, which probably cost them the Regatta.
The three guns given to the first three boats to reach the finish line, having completed different courses, were a testament to the RO’s course setting skills. Redeye was first boat home, completing a perfect score for the Regatta in Cruiser Division and discarding a 1 in the process, while Seawolf claimed yet another gun, followed by Jelik in Racer 0.
OneSails Racing left that division title in no doubt as she coasted home just 20 seconds ahead of FreeFire to take first on corrected and the IRC Racer 0 title by 4 points. Seawolf was delighted to win her race on IRC, however had to be content with 2nd overall in Racer 2, behind Red Kite II, who claimed the IRC Racer 2 title for the fourth successive year.
Island Fling again showed her speed on the water to take the gun for Racer 1, however Elektra finished two minutes ahead of arch–rival Walawala 2 to take the Regatta title for Racer 1 by 1 point.
Moonblue 2 took her second double for the day, however Shawn Kang’s Lighthorse edged the Warwick out by one point to take her first ever China Coast Regatta title for Premier Division. Barracuda, one of the China entries, took the gun in HKPN, much to their delight, however Pepper & Salt claimed the win on HKPN, and completed a perfect regatta, also discarding a first.
Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race gets Lucky
Meanwhile, on the following weekend, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club launched the fleet for the biennial Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. The TP52 Lucky, which travelled all the way from America to take part, has ensured she leaves with at least one piece of silverware, having won IRC Racing 0 Division on IRC handicap, pushing fellow TP52, OneSails Racing (which finished 1h 12m behind Bryon Ehrhart’s boat) into second place on corrected time.
FreeFire finished just under an hour behind Ray Roberts and team, however with a much higher IRC rating had had to settle for third place in Racer 0.
This completes the finishes for IRC Racer 0 and HKPN, with the next boat due to arrive being Island Fling from IRC Racer 1 Division, due in just after midnight. Signal 8 and kukuKERchu are currently projected to arrive around 15 minutes apart, followed by Red Kite II around four hours later.
The race was marred early on when Walawala 2 lost her rudder and sent the distress call to RHKYC at 0135 on Friday, October 18. The yacht was 130 nautical miles offshore, and by 0145, Walawala’s life raft was prepared and the Hong Kong Government Flying Services were deploying fixed wing aircraft and a helicopter. The yacht Krampus, also competing, was the nearest to Walawala’s position and was directed to the location. By 0440, the GFS had arrived, winching up 8 of the ten crew, with remaining two returning to Hong Kong aboard Krampus. All crew members were returned to Hong Kong safely.