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Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week 2024 - Day 2

by Vivian Ngan 2 Feb 11:22 GMT 31 January - 4 February 2024

Whilst beautiful blue sky could be seen above Middle Island, thick sea fog and very little wind delayed the start of Day 2 of the Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week.

The AP flag was hoisted in the morning but thankfully sailors only had to wait ashore for half an hour whilst the wind filled in.

Brenda Davies, 29er fleet Race officer moved the fleet's racetrack to Stanley from the Beaufort Area, commenting "This morning when we headed out to the Beaufort area, there was a lovely steady breeze with sunshine, but the fog rolled in half an hour later. After moving to Stanley, we had an average of 8kts gusting up to 12kts and it was a bit shifty because we were near the headland, so it was a bit challenging for the sailors. We managed to fit in our three scheduled races before the sea fog rolled back in and we sent our sailors home."

In the 29er class, which incorporates the 2024 29er Asian Championship, the top scoreboard remained unchanged for the second day - Emily Polson and Tiffany Mak are still leading Cameron Law and Christopher Lam with 4 points whilst Japanese team Yuto Tsutsumi and Taishi Goto are in 3rd place.

The ILCA fleet moved to Tai Tam area and despite still occasionally being affected by sea fog, the gamble paid off. Race Officer Elberti Uiterwaal-Postma said "There was thick fog at Bluff Head, but once one sailed into Tai Tam, it was like a new world with different conditions entirely - it was so bizarre! I think it was fantastic; we had a steady easterly breeze of 8 to 12kts and we had four races today."

In the ILCA 6 class, Singaporean entry Isaac Goh, who clinched the silver medal at the Asian Games (in ILCA 4 Men), took three bullets today. Behind him in second is another Asian Games silver medalist (ILCA 6) local sailor Stephanie Norton and in third place is Nancy Highfield. In the ILCA 4 fleet, Isaac's brother, Ian Goh is leading local sailor Zixi Huang with three points and Tiago Salgado lies in 3rd place.

At Stanley Bay, it was less foggy. Inge Strompf-Jepsen, Race Officer at Stanley Bay reported that the wind direction and wind strength was steady except for final race for the Optimist Main Fleet, and therefore they reset a windward/leeward course for the fleet.

The biggest fleet of the regatta is the Optimist Main consisting of 62 sailors (with one Intermediate fleet sailor moving upward), there are two entries from Thailand and one each from Australia and Singapore. Star sailors includes Thailand's Adison Ein who had been crowned 4th Overall in the HKODA Open and National Championships 2023 and who got 7th Place at the Phuket King's Cup Regatta 2023. There are 30 entries from Mainland China representing eight sailing clubs. Chenjinhai Sailing Club have sent six boys and two girls, all of whom feature in the top 30 China young sailors and young female sailors respectively. They will be facing challenges from two other top sailors representing Amazing Wind and Ling Hang Sailing Club. Amongst the local sailors, the top sailors in the HKODA ranking list, Marguax Nguyen-Minh and Zihan Liu are the ones to watch.

At the end of six races over two days, there were some notable swings in results in the Optimist Main Fleet. Local sailor Liu Zihan moved up to first overall and Margaux Nguyen-Minh is now in 2nd place and last year's Intermediate fleet winner Ethan Kiu is in 3rd place. In the Optimist Intermediate fleet Chinese sailor Yichen Xiao is now in the lead.

For RS Feva, Hin Yat Yeung and Sze Ching Tsang are still leading after the second day of racing, and for 2.4mR, parasailer Fu Yuen Wai took another three bullets today maintaining his lead.

Principal Race Officer Officer Barry Trohol commented, "Despite the initial hiccup with the fog, they all got in a good number of races for the day. The water itself was not too busy, unlike how it will be tomorrow being the start of the weekend. I think all of the fleets had some good races."

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