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Sweet Start to Volvo China Coast Regatta 2023

The Volvo China Coast Regatta made a sensational beginning today, as 28 boats turned up for the first day of the Club's 2023-2024 sailing season's Big Boat event.

Organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, this event has reached its 31st edition. The fleet of 28 yachts was divided into five IRC classes based on their unique characteristics. They took full advantage of an ideal northeasterly wind, ranging from 8 to 10 kts, which later shifted easterly and increased to 13 kts. These stunning boats showcased their remarkable capabilities on the regatta course. The action began promptly at 1030hrs with Island Course No.5 for the IRC Premier Class; a rounding of Waglan and Sung Kong Islands. The other IRC racer divisions completed three exhilarating windward/leeward races.

The day was filled with intense races that put tactics and boat handling skills to the test. Tight mark roundings and thrilling finishes were the highlight of the day.

Race Officer Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen commented on the day; ”We planned for the worst but came out with the best result! Because the wind was so good the decision was made to put in three windward/leewards whilst the wind was there. The sailors really liked it. The good thing is that racing went quickly and we love our new robotic mark which is speeding up the process in starting and finishing, it definitely makes our race management go much faster, hence us being able to get more races in and still be in early for a drink.”

In IRC Racer Division 0, Noel Chan's Rampage 88 took the lead after three races, claiming victory in all of them. They were followed by the Philippines' entry Standard Insurance Centennial 3, owned by Emerson Villena, and Happy Go, helmed by Dominic Law.

Marcel Liedts' Zannekin garnered two wins in the first races of the day, securing first place in Racer Division 1. William Liu's Seawolf clinched second place, with Bo Wu and Kiki XinQi Lu's Unicorn finishing third.

Nick Burns' King 40 Witchcraft demonstrated an impressive performance, winning all three of their races and maintaining a strong hold on the Racer Division 2 leaderboard. Andrew Taylor and Denis Martinet's Cape 31 Capitano secured second place, two points ahead of David Kong's Cape 31 Out of Africa.

It was neck to neck competition between Andy Pidden's Juice and Nick Southward's Admiralty Harbour Whiskey Jack, with Juice leading by a single point at the end of today’s racing. Rita Yau's Dexter II claimed third place.

In the IRC Premier class, Tom Attenborough's Parnassus emerged as the frontrunner after Day 1, with Peter Churchouse's Moonblue 2 closely following.

Tomorrow, eight HKPN entries will join the exciting action. Racing will commence at 1030hrs.


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