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Hong Kong Race Week 2017 - Day 1

by Koko Mueller on 16 Feb 14-19 February 2017

Hong Kong Race Week kicked off on Wednesday night after a breezy practice race with winds gusting from 20 to 25kts followed by an exciting lion dance very much to the awe and delight of the overseas competitors.

The opening ceremony included remarks by Race Chairman Peter Davies, Hong Kong Sailing Federation's Tong Yui Shing and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Vice Commodore, John Woo. The assembled crowd also heard from Sailors of the Sea representatives, John Crawford and Jackie Truhol.

Peter Davies said "when we started Hong Kong Race Week four years ago, our vision was to create a top level international event. I am really pleased to have so many competitors from overseas and that the event has grown to more then 250 this year". Davies continued "The scale of overseas entries would not be possible without the charter boats and so I must give thanks to Laser Performance and Hong Kong Sailing Federation for investing in over 30 Optimists. In all, we've had 53 charters which is wonderful. My thanks to the superb support of Anglo Eastern Yacht Services. Also of course are the immense amount of volunteers every day without whom we simply would not be able to function!"

Race Day 1

Day 1 of Hong Kong Race Week got off to an excellent start even before the competitors left the dock with blue skies and warm winter conditions. The sailors were spread across three race areas with the windsurfers setting out first to their race track run by Race Officer Barry Truhol in the vicinity of Round Island. The Techno 293, RSX Youth and RS One sailed two races then were replaced with the huge fleet of more then 100 Optimists. Varying breeze was reported across the three race tracks ranging from 5 to 15kts.

Race officer, Barry Truhol commented on the racing at Area B "It was a really challenging day. We had to change course several times because the wind was difficult. A couple of the races had black flags at the starts and there were several disqualifications hich was part due to currents and part due to people pushing too hard on the start line and having a bit too much fun going over the line. The Optimists completed three races. It was a hard, long day for sailors who will be very tired and we'll do it all again tomorrow!

We had the RSX Youth, the RS One and the Technos 293; they had two good races. We were a bit stuck for wind at the beginning but once we set up a course we got two clean races in and it was all good. The windsurfers sailed in two divisions the Techno 293 and the RSX Youth and RS One together."

Inge Strompf-Jepsen, Race Officer at Area C reported "the day started off with setting up the race track at Stanley Bay where wind was quite unstable oscillating almost 40 degrees. We were about to get into sequence when there was a massive wind shift and the decision was made to move. We found a great spot near Beaufort Channel with a lot of wind, which was really steady all day around 10 to 15kts. We had to deal with tides but we got our three great races in. On the last race for the Laser 4.7s there was a change in the tide and the start line had to be laid again, then the race almost got underway then we had a general recall. After finishing the Laser Radials the Laser 4.7s were sent back into sequence and all got away clean." Exciting results from Nick Bezy from Hong Kong who took home three bullets in the Laser Radial Class.

Heading up Race area D was Brenda Davies. Three races were completed for each of the 470, 420 and 29er fleets today racing on a windward leeward course set between Beaufort and Po Toi Islands. Brenda commented on the racing, "We had a nice northeasterly this morning – about 8 to 10kts - and sent the 470s on a 0.75nm two lap course, followed by the 420s then 29ers on a 0.65nm two lap course. All fleets had clear starts and finished in good time. The wind pressure increased slightly with a small shift to the right. The top marks were reset accordingly to an axis of 055 and same leg lengths as in Race 1. The O flag was displayed for the 470 start, turning off Rule 42 for their race. The 420s and 29ers also enjoyed clear and increasingly competitive starts. For Race 3 the wind had softened with a further small shift to the right. The top marks were shortened to 0.65nm for the 470s and 0.55nm for the 420s and 29ers, on an axis of 070. A two lap course was set for all classes. The starts were clear and very competitive, particularly in the 420 fleet. Racing was all finished shortly before 1500hrs and the only issue we had was one of the Singaporean 29er crews missed their gate on their way to the finish of Race 3. Overall a good day."

The second day of racing kicks off tomorrow with sailors hoping for the same sunny conditions and a little more breeze!

Hong Kong Race Week is a constituent event of the ASAF Youth Cup and is co-organised by Hong Kong Sailing Federation and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

Provisional results as of today are available online at www.hongkongraceweek.com/prov-results-2017

More information on the official website at www.hongkongraceweek.com.

The event can also be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HongKongRaceWeek

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