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Respects, your Royal Highness

by Guy Nowell 15 Apr 2021 06:32 BST
Charles, Prince of Wales with his father the Duke of Edinburgh and crew members Uffa Fox, the Duke's Yachting adviser and Lieutenant-Commander Alistair Easton, Sailing Master of the yacht "Bluebottle", at Cowes, during their Dragon class race © PA Archive / PA Images

Sail-World Asia joins sailors all over the world in sending condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh. HRH was closely associated with sailors and the sea, in both a sporting and a commercial capacity. He was a substantially decorated officer in the Royal Navy during and after WW2, and at various times President of the RYA and Master of Trinity House, Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron. The list of maritime credits and positions is long and illustrious. Prince Philip was not just a ‘paper sailor’: he raced Coweslip (Flying 15) with the designer Uffa Fox, Bluebottle (Dragon) and Bloodhound (Nicholson 63). He was even Patron of the Yachting Journalists’ Association. We raise a tot to His Royal Highness, and wish him fair winds and a following sea.

Being based in Hong Kong, but still being as impartial as possible, Sail-World Asia is thrilled to announce that Stephanie Norton qualified for a slot at the Tokyo Olympic Regatta 2021, which will actually be sailed at Enoshima 26 July–4 August (dates correct at time of writing). She is the first Hong Kong female single-handed sailor to claim a qualifying place since the present qualification system started in 1996. Starting in Over the years, Hong Kong has fielded 28 sailing Olympians, starting – coincidentally – in 1964 in Tokyo. The HKG team are back in Hong Kong now, in quarantine for three weeks, having collected two silvers and a bronze medal at the Mussanah Open Championships in Oman, which doubled as the Asia/Africa Olympic Qualifier. Sailing is one of the less well-funded sports in Hong Kong, and it is very much to be hoped that a place at the Olympics will raise visibility and, in due course, support.

The forthcoming SailGP event in Bermuda has hit a bump in the road. It has been announced that the island is going into lockdown for seven days following an increase in positive cases and deaths from Covid-19 on the Atlantic island. Lockdown starts Tuesday 13 April at 05.00 and is slated to finish 20 April. SailGP is scheduled to begin on 24 April, and not all the teams have arrived. It will take some very tight scheduling and very efficient logistics to make this work! The last (and only) SailGP was a one-horse affair in which Sir Ben Ainslie gave everyone else a sailing lesson on Sydney Harbour. This time both Peter Burling and Jimmy Spithill will be looking to prevent a runaway victory.

Standing by on 72.

Guy Nowell, Asia Editor

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