Calum Gregor Wins Third Straight Around The Island Race
Published: Monday, 28 November 2016
At the 2016 Around the Island Race Nov 27 in Hong Kong organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), more than 250 boats participated in the 26nm race.
(Photos: Isaac Lawrence / RHKYC - Around the Island Race 2016)
Teenager Calum Gregor won the third year in a row with crew member Russel Aylsworth at 14:09:28 on board 29er Shaneequa, which was the first to enter Big Wave Bay. Gregor helmed a 420 in the 2014 edition and also a 29er in the last edition.
The first boat to round Cape D'Aguilar and reach the Stanley and Cyperport gates and subsequent line honours winner was Frank Pong's 72ft Sloop Jelik who finished at 13:32:22, followed by Marcel Leidts’ Ker 46 Zannekin. The first Class boat to finish was Dion Houghton's Magic 25 R2B2 from the Sportsboat division.
Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen set two start lines off of Kellett Island Clubhouse with the line closest to Kellett Island used for starting the day boats and the outside line for the cruiser, racer and beach cat divisions. The first start was at 0830hrs with the Pandoras, HKPN Monohulls and Multihull Cruisers setting off in a northerly breeze of around 4kts.
By the end of the 20 start sequences, the breeze had built to around 8kts and shifted to the northwest allowing some of the racers to pop their kites as they crossed the line. All starts got away cleanly except for a few individual recalls including a Laser, Flying Fifteen and two Etchells. The last division to set off at 1000hrs was the ATI Multihull Beach-Craft and last year's Around the Island line honours winner – International Moth sailed by Rob Partridge.
With race management positioned at various locations around the island, a northwesterly breeze of 7 to 19kts was reported; setting the tone for a possible patchy race. As the fleet made their way up the harbour towards the Lei Yue Mun Gap, it was a colourful sight to behold with hundreds of kites on the horizon.
With the sun came the wind, which started to fill in at Tai Tam with inside boats hooking into the breeze and hoisting their kites. The breeze continued to build as the fleet headed towards Stanley with the lead boats beating and pulling away from the rest of the fleet.
The prizegiving ceremony is held on Monday evening Nov 28 at the poolside of Kellett Island with event sponsorship from Jet Solutions and prizes sponsored by Dragon Vodka, Kiehl’s and Peroni.