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24 Hour Charity Dinghy Race at Hebe Haven Yacht Club

by Rob Allen 4 Oct 2018 18:22 BST 29-30 September 2018
24 Hour Charity Dinghy Race start on Saturday, 29th September © Fragrant Harbour

The day – Saturday, the 29th of September 2018, dawned clear and bright. It stayed that way, through to the following afternoon.

Enthusiastic young (and senior) sailors in 33 dinghies sailed their hearts out overnight around Hebe Haven to raise money for charity and, of course, the dream of a podium position in this demanding annual event.

Racing began at 1400, with the start attended by officials from the Sai Kung District Office and other local VIPs. It finished at 1400, in glorious sunshine, on the Sunday.

"We had 21 hours of wind, between six to 12 knots. Only a few light patches," said Hebe Haven Yacht Club's sail training centre manager, Rob Allen. "There were 26 teams camped in the race village with our very own Hebe Dragons fielding five youth and adult crews. Altogether there were some 600 sailors at some time on the water, monitored and assisted by 300 volunteers.

Line honours for the 24-hour race went to Chasing Bubbles, with 102 laps of the course completed. However, overall honours, based on average corrected lap times, went to Para Warriors of the Sailability team with 82 laps, Para Friends in second with 74 laps and Hebe Dragons RS Feva #1 in third with 95 laps.

Invitational sailor, Hannah Stodel, took part and demonstrated her skills sailing a Hansa, a Feva and a Quest, showing why she is a four-time Paralympian.

It was the 16th staging of this endurance event and this year was pulled together 13 days after the territory's biggest storm in 60 years (Typhoon Mangkhut). An achievement in itself.

For all who attended, it was a carnival weekend with arts and crafts stalls on the hardstand, marine chandlerers and entertainers both amateur and professional. Off the club's slipway, watersports trials were offered in a double 'Open Day' attended by some 7,000 people.

Back on the water, a new Inter-School Challenge Cup was awarded to the Hong Kong Academy (91 laps), with the French International School (89 laps) and Renaissance College (88 laps) as runners up.

Also, the Charities Cup was re-introduced and was won by Para Warriors. Para Friends came 2nd and Operation Breakthrough, 3rd. The largest amount raised was HK$100,000 from the Tao Heung Group.

Altogether, the race raised close to HK$1 million for charity, with HK$400,000 coming from the sailors and the remainder from prime sponsors such as Haeco and Standard Chartered Bank.

Putting on an event of this size is a major undertaking. Further, it makes a huge contribution to sailing in Hong Kong, for both its competitive racing and charitable spirit.

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