With less than two days to go, sailors are gearing up for Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s first major Big Boat event of the season - China Coast Race Week 2019 comprising the China Coast Regatta from 11 to 13 October followed by a Category 1 Offshore Race, the 2019 Hong Kong to Vietnam Race; a 673nm downwind passage to Nha Trang, Vietnam which starts on 15 and 16 October.
2019 marks the 27th edition of the China Coast Regatta which was first established in 1993. The event is based out of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Middle Island clubhouse; with sailors competing in a variety of windward/leeward and island courses.
The delayed arrival of the northeasterly monsoon is forecasting a light breeze for the first two days of racing. The monsoon is predicted to fill in on Sunday bringing promising conditions for the 31 yachts competing across six divisions, with the biggest contingent coming from IRC Racer 2. Ellian Perch’s Cape 31, Orion DYP, which made the journey to Hong Kong from South Africa is set to compete against a slew of locally based strong competitors including as Glenn Smith’s Blackjack, Herman Wong’s Kiasu and Noel Chan and Denis Ma’s Rampage.
The five-strong IRC Racer 0 division includes three TP52s: Sam Chan’s FreeFire, Robert Wiest, Victor Kuk and David Ho’s Phoenix and Ting Lee and Hongquan Li’s Ark323 from Mainland China. They are joined by another head to head competition between Marcel Liedts’ Ker 46 Zannekin and Shawn Kang’s Ker46+ Alpha +.
Many eyes will be on Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns’ Mandrake III (IRC Racer 1 winner in 2016 and 2017) racing against Joachim Isler and Andrew Taylor’s Ambush and with Rampage II, Seawolf 2, Quest and Neo One in the mix, competition is fierce.
IRC Racer 3 comprises six strong local teams including Dexter II, Whiskey Jack and Arcturus who will battle it out in both light wind and strong wind conditions. One thing for certain though is that the competition will be tough.
IRC Racer and Premier Cruiser Classes will be racing from 11 to 13 October and HKPN Class racing from 12 to 13 October with racing taking place in the waters to the east and south of Hong Kong Island, with some islands courses extending into the waters to the east of Sai Kung.
image: RHKYC / Guy Nowell
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