Published: Friday, 03 October 2014

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s flagship Audi China Coast Regatta for IRC and HKPN rated boats will take place from Oct 10-12. A three-day format offers competitors a variety of windward / leeward, geometric and islands courses in the waters south of Hong Kong Island and west of Lamma Island.

The regatta is expected to attract over 40 competitors in four classes and seven divisions, with most entrants satisfying the criteria for inclusion in the IRC Racing class. IRC Racing IRC Racing 0 features three TP52’s including Sam Chan’s locally campaigned FreeFire, Ray Robert's Asia Pacific contender, OneSails Racing and, for the first time in many years, Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste returns to the owner’s home waters.

Audi China Coast Regatta And Audi Hong Kong Kettle Coming Up

This will be the first time Kwok’s TP52 has competed in Hong Kong and, after completing the Audi Hong Kong to Hainan Race, Team Beau Geste will spend the remainder of the 2014-15 season competing on the Asian Circuit. Racer 0 is rounded out with Frank Pong’s perennial 75’ bullet hunter, Jelik.

In Racer 1, where the self-styled “hot 40’s” reside, a new Kinmonth / Burns-owned Sydney GTS43, EFG Bank Mandrake 3 will compete head-to-head against her previous incarnation EFG Bank Mandrake 2 and sister ship Elektra as part of a fleet in which Farr, Ker, Mills and JV designs all feature. After a disappointing maiden regatta last year, Island Fling, a McConaghy-built JV40, will expect to finish higher in the rankings this year, having undergone extensive remedial works for IRC optimisation.

This year the regatta forms the cornerstone of the Audi Hong Kong Kettle, which invites boats within specific IRC Racing rating bands to pair up to represent their home club in a new team racing competition which includes an “Around Hong Kong Islands Race” on Oct 9.

Audi China Coast Regatta And Audi Hong Kong Kettle Coming Up 2

(Photos courtesy RHKYC / Guy Nowell)

The timing offers overseas entrants the double benefit of an extra day’s acclimatisation to the region’s sailing conditions, coupled with a great opportunity to see the wilder parts of Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong in October provides very good sailing conditions with breeze typically in the high teens, temperatures in the high 20s and a great combination of geometric and island courses,” says Hong Kong Kettle Race Chairman, Drew Taylor. “Hong Kong is also very well known for its après sail.”

Three teams have been put together to contest the inaugural event – Mills 41 Ambush and Ker 40 Signal 8 will pit their combined skills against EFG Bank Mandrake 3 and Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake 2, which will be under the guiding hand of RHKYC Rear Commodore for Sailing, Anthony Day. The teams are joined by the only cross-divisional entry, Farr 40 Ramrod with J109, Whiskey Jack.