Sailing: Over 40 boats expected for Audi China Coast Regatta
- Updated: September 29, 2014
September 29, 2014: Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste is among over 40 boats expected for this year’s Audi China Coast Regatta, which will be held in Hong Kong from October 10-12.
Organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club since 1993, the regatta for IRC and HKPN rated boats will follow a three-day format offering a variety of windward/leeward, geometric and islands courses in the waters to the south of Hong Kong island and west of Lamma.
Title sponsored by Audi for the first time, the regatta is expected to attract over 40 competitors in four classes and seven divisions, with the majority of entrants satisfying the criteria for inclusion in the IRC Racing class.
IRC Racing 0 features Frank Pong’s perennial 75-foot bullet hunter, Jelik, and three TP52s – Sam Chan’s locally campaigned FreeFire, Ray Roberts’ Asia Pacific contender OneSails Racing and Kwok’s Team Beau Geste as it returns to the owner’s home waters.
This will be the first time Kwok’s TP52 has competed in Hong Kong and – after completing the Audi Hong Kong to Hainan Race – Team Beau Geste is expected to spend the remainder of the 2014/15 season competing on the Asian circuit.
In Racer 1, where the self-styled ‘hot 40s’ reside, a new Kinmonth/Burns-owned Sydney GTS43, EFG Bank Mandrake 3, will go head-to-head against her previous incarnation, EFG Bank Mandrake 2, and sister ship Elektra as part of a fleet in which Farr, Ker, Mills and JV designs all feature.
After a disappointing maiden regatta last year, Island Fling, a McConaghy-built JV40, will expect to finish higher in the rankings this year, having undergone extensive remedial works for IRC optimisation.
This year the regatta forms the cornerstone of the Audi Hong Kong Kettle, which invites boats within specific IRC Racing rating bands to pair up to represent their home club in a new team racing competition which includes an ‘Around Hong Kong Island Race’ on Thursday, October 9.
The timing offers overseas entrants the double benefit of an extra day’s acclimatisation to the region’s sailing conditions, coupled with a great opportunity to see the wilder parts of Hong Kong.
Drew Taylor, the Hong Kong Kettle Race Chairman, said: “Hong Kong in October provides very good sailing conditions with breeze typically in the high teens, temperatures in the high 20s and a great combination of geometric and island courses. Hong Kong is also very well known for its après sail.”
Three teams have been put together to contest the inaugural event – Mills 41 Ambush and Ker 40 Signal 8 will pit their combined skills against EFG Bank Mandrake 3 and Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake 2, which will be under the guiding hand of Anthony Day, the RHKYC’s Rear Commodore for Sailing. The teams are joined by the only cross-divisional entry, Farr 40 Ramrod with J109 Whiskey Jack.
Source: RHKYC (www.rhkyc.org.hk); Editing by SportAsia