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Hong Kong Sportsboats Championships 2023

by HK Sportsboats 11 Feb 2023 03:09 GMT 4-5 February 2023
Carter. HK Sportsboats Class Championship 2023 © Guy Nowell

A few words from the podium of the HK Sportsboats Class Champs, 4/5 February 2023

3rd: Pawley (Eliot Cargile)

Saturday's racing kicked off south of Table Island in 12 kts of breeze and a substantial swell. If you had picked a day to volunteer for RO duty, you probably wouldn’t want this one without a handful of seasick medicine. In the first couple of races the three VX Ones managed to hold onto the Magics upwind and tussle with them on the way downhill. The third race was a different story as the breeze dropped off and the swell continued, allowing the Magics to power through with more momentum on their side. There was no heavy bias on the course, and playing shifts in the middle of the track worked well.

On Sunday the sportsboats stayed inside Port Shelter without the big waves, but lighter pressure of 8 kts and weakening. Charging up the left side of the course was the way to go on both races. It was tempting to tack on the many knocks while going left, but it never worked. Pushing hard to the outside and minimising tacks paid huge dividends. In the final race of the regatta, the wind shut down to nearly nothing as the first boats were approaching the downwind mark, and Inge wrapped up racing for the day as many of us barely limped over the line of a shortened course. Nice job getting the races finished, and thanks for the weekend!

2nd: Phoenix (David and Victor)

Day one was tricky, with big swell and moderate wind speed, and it was also a real fun day to see the Magic fleet and three VX Ones out on the water. On our mind was how the hell are we going to win against thee 3 VXs?! We struggled with the swell, and were definitely a bit out of practice in racing through these conditions. Race one - we made an error at the bottom mark - was it a gate or mark?! Lesson learned - read the SIs carefully in future, and listen to the RO on the radio! First time using our new weapon (the orange kite). We caught up downwind in all three races, though we were all even on the upwind legs. Potentially a candidate for a muppet award as we almost crashed into Dion's VX (and he strategically landed us with a 720 penalty, resulting in a loss to Hotwired by 30sec, damn)! Happy that we managed to break up the VX dominance, but I am sure they will strike back soon! Despite of having only five races over the two days, it was a fun regatta. Magic 25s are still great boats to sail and race!

1st: Serendipity (Dion and Patrick)

In the first race, we had great height and speed upwind, but heavy crew weight made us struggle downwind. FAB were able to catch us at the bottom of the course, and with some confusion about whether there was a gate or a mark at the bottom, we floundered around, trying to work out what to do. Eventually, we set off and hunted FAB down, able to catch them before the top mark, but once again, they sailed around us to take line honours. In the second race, our heavy crew weight and the dying breeze didn’t help our boat speed, and we struggled to keep the boat going in the chop. Eliot showed great boat speed in his brand-new-straight-out-of-the-box boat, and was able to sail around us to beat us on the water. In race three we tried to capitalise on a left hand shift just before the start, but again, with the wind softening, we were not able to keep up with the Magics and other VXs.

Sunday, we were without Patrick, but extra light breeze meant we certainly didn’t miss the weight. We managed to get to the left side of the course and get around the first mark in the lead. We were able to hold on to first place on the water in the light breeze, but Phoenix were able to roll us on the last run to take line honours. In the second race, we didn’t get away quite as cleanly as we wanted - we had hoped to get to the left side of the course again, but had to take a couple of clearing tacks to avoid traffic. One last dig left at the top of the course allowed us to sneak around the top mark behind Ironman, but at the front of a crowded pack. From there, we just concentrated on keeping the boat moving as the wind faded. We over-stood the lay line to the finish, but this allowed us to point high and just hold onto the last breath of breeze and ghost across the line, once again behind Phoenix. We were very grateful when the race committee told us that racing was done for the day and we could be towed home!

Thanks to all of the committee for their organisation, as well as the RO and race management, and Guy Nowell for photos and tows. Full set of photos here: http://www.guynowell.com/.../2023-hk-sportsboats-champs

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