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Sun Hung Kai & Co. Hong Kong Race Week 2024 - Day 3

by Vivian Ngan 3 Feb 11:11 UTC 31 January - 4 February 2024

What a great day for racing! Day 3 began with over 20kts of wind at Repulse Bay, however the wind gradually softened with the sun coming out to welcome sailors as they arrived on the racetracks for an exciting racing day.

Three classes opted for three different racing areas. The ILCA fleet raced in an area west of Stanley Bay with the 29er fleet, albeit on separate racetracks, and managed to run four races. Race Officer Elberti Uiterwaal-Postma said that their day "started with 15 to 20 kts with windward/leeward course. The top mark went deeper into Stanley because the wind was more sheltered. It was consistent easterly breeze and wind dropped to 8 to 12kts at the end of the day."

In the star-studded ILCA6 class, aspiring Olympians Nancy Highfield and Stephanie Norton (who won a silver medal for Hong Kong at the Asian Games) continued to battle it out against returning Hong Kong Race Week ILCA class champion Singaporean sailor Isaac Goh (also a silver medalist at the Asian Games in the Boys ILCA 4 Single Handed event). Goh made the transition from ILCA 4 to ILCA 6 three months ago.

The second largest participating fleet this year is the ILCA 4 with 54 sailors - 23 of whom are from Mainland China, four from Macau, China and one each from Singapore and Thailand. Thailand's Phutawan Pibulpanijkarn comes to Hong Kong Race Week with a 3rd overall in the HHYC Open Dinghy Regatta 2023 under his belt and Ian Goh from Singapore had just taken 2nd place in Changi Sailing Club ILCA Open. More stiff competition in the fleet comes from Che Liu from Vanhang Sailing and ZiFan Feng from Seal Sailing. Also in the fleet are sailors from Canada and USA.

After four races today east of Stanley Bay, the leader of the ILCA 6 is Stephanie Norton who took two bullets today to move into 1st place overall. Isaac Goh is 4 points behind and in third place is Nancy Highfield. In the ILCA 4 fleet, Isaac's brother, Ian Goh is still comfortably leading. Tiago Salgado has jumped up to 2nd place followed by local sailor Zixi Huang.

In the 29er class, which incorporates the 2024 29er Asian Championship, Emily Polson and Tiffany Mak are still leading Cameron Law and Christopher Lam with 5 points whilst Jamie Tsang and Cheuk Wing Mak are in 3rd place. Race Officer Brenda Davies said "the day started with 17-18kts of easterly breeze. Given the strong wind forecast and also concerns over poor visibility, we didn't go out further to the Beaufort area. For the first race we had a number of boats retire as they weren't coping with the conditions but there was a good group of close racing for the boats that did enjoy the stronger winds."

The Optimist Main/Intermediate/2.4mR/RS Feva fleets got three races in today in the waters between Round Island and Ocean Park. Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen commented that their day started "with only 8-10kts, but it was shifty and it builds up to 10-12kts at the end of the day."

In the Optimist Main fleet, local sailor Zihan Liu is still in the lead, two points ahead of Margaux Nguyen-Minh whilst Chinese sailor HongXi Li has jumped up to third place. In the Optimist Intermediate fleet Chinese sailors Yichen Xiao and Wei Xuan Ysai are both tied with 18 points however Yichen Xiao is in the lead on count back.

This year there is a big fleet of 15 RS Fevas. Ten teams come from Vanhang Sailing Academy and Chenjinhao Race Team. Local sailors Hin Yat Yeung/Sze Ching Tsang have been leading from Day 1 in this division followed by Jiayin Li/Xiaotian Ma and Huang Zi Shu/Yu Ming Wu, both from Vanhang.

In the 2.4mR, although Eric Cheung took one bullet today, Yuen Wai Foo still maintain as the leader in the fleet.

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