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Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week 2023 - Day 3

by Vivian Ngan 18 Feb 2023 12:53 GMT 14-19 February 2023

"Where is the wind?" was the question of the morning. Weather conditions were a complete contrast to the previous day with nearly no wind when sailors first arrived at Middle Island this morning.

However instead of waiting around, the race management team sent sailors out instead of waiting on the hardstand. Finally racing got under way in lighter conditions, testing the sailors' ability in all-round conditions.

Race Officer Brenda Davies at the Po Toi area commented "The wind god was kind today" as the ILCA class had some very close racing on a much calmer sea with an average 7 to 8 kts north easterly breeze.

The ILCA 4 class comprises 16 local sailors and 10 Mainland China sailors from Vanhang Sailing Academy and Whisper of Wind Sailing Club, 4 Singaporeans, 2 Thai sailors and one each from Chinese Taipei, Macau (China) and Switzerland. The leader of the fleet as at the end of Day 3 is Singaporean top sailor Isaac Goh who is sailing strong and leading 7 points ahead of fellow Singaporean sailor, Josiah Tan.

Among the 18 entries in ILCA 6, we have 5 Mainland Chinese entries and the sailor to watch is Zhaohiu Ding from Vanhang Sailing Academy who is now sitting in 1st place overall followed closely by Hong Kong sailors Peter Jessop and Patrick Feng. Also in the fleet are sailors from Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Belgium.

In the 29er fleet, competing in the first ever 29er Asian Championship, Cameron Law and Christopher Lam who performed better in lighter conditions, took 2 bullets today, however they are still 3 points behind their rivals Emily Polson and Tiffany Mak.

There was almost no wind in the area of Stanley Bay which was designated as the racetrack for the Optimists this morning so the race management team moved to the fleet to Tai Tam area where they were rewarded with 7-9kts of breeze allowing race management to set windward/leeward courses for the Optimist, 2.4mR and RS Feva classes at the beginning of the day.

The Optimist Main fleet got 4 races in today and Emmanouil Anastasios Vomvylas of Greece still has a firm grip on the first overall with massive lead of 17 points ahead of Zihan Liu from Hong Kong. For Optimist Intermediate fleet, they had 3 races and Ethan Kiu from Aberdeen Boat Club, Hong Kong is still hanging on to 1st place.

There are seven entries in 2.4 mR class - among them six para sailors from Sailability Hong Kong including Sylvia Leung making her debut in her first Hong Kong Race Week. "I have participated in several local regattas, but here at southern side, we have different racing conditions compared to our home base in Shelter Cove. It's more physically challenging to attend four days of racing plus a practice race, but we learn more in a week long regatta."

Yuen Wai Foo had been racing in Hong Kong Race Week since the first edition in 2015. Foo mentioned as Race Week was on hiatus due to Covid restrictions for a few years, affecting training, he's treasuring this opportunity to sail in this international to equip himself for strong sailing conditions in future overseas regattas. At the end of the day, he was leading the fleet after taking 5 bullets and is currently 2 points ahead of Virgile Bertrand.

Sailability Hong Kong has also sent their wonderful new flagship Mohan, a 40' sailing yacht, to bring a lot more of their sailors out to the race area to watch their top sailors race each other in the 2.4mR class. This is the first time they are able to welcome more than just the competing Sailability sailors, each of whom has some form of disability. Everyone shares the hope that this will be inspirational to a wider group of sailors.

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