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RHKYC BMW Spring Regatta 2024 on Victoria Harbour

by Vivian Ngan 21 May 19:12 UTC 18-19 May 2024

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's last major event of the 2023-2024 sailing season, the BMW Spring Regatta, took place on 18 to 19 May on Victoria Harbour with fair winds and good racing conditions showcasing Hong Kong's yachting at its best.

104 boats turned out over the weekend, racing across four Big Boat divisions and eight one-design classes (including Dragons, Etchells, Flying Fifteens, Impalas, J/80s, Pandoras, Ruffians and Sportsboats).

Sailors were greeted with a north-easterly breeze on Saturday of 10 to 12kts at the start line before dropping down to about 9kts. This meant that the race became a little longer than the originally planned two hours, and the RO shortened the course for the Ruffians, Pandoras and Dragons.

Sunday turned out to be a wet, windy, and gusty day with 91 boats on the first start line. An initial easterly of 12 to 14kts built up to 16 to 17kts (at times gusting up to 20kts), resulting in some yachts reefing their sails.

RO Barry Truhol chose to send all fleets on courses within Victoria Harbour, with two races to be sailed for the day. Longer courses were set for the Big Boats and Etchells, racing 1.5 to 2 laps around Shau Kei Wan and Hung Hom, while the other divisions enjoyed shorter courses, racing 1 to 1.5 laps to Tai Koo Shing, with all boats enjoying very close competitive racing.

With rain starting to fall during the start sequence, the wind and sea state started to ease around midday. The wind picked up again to 16kts during the last race of the day resulting in some 'interesting' broaches!

Truhol hoped that everyone enjoyed their regatta: "When we went out in the morning, we set the courses based on the wind at about 12kts and we set them for about an hour's duration for the first races. Then was the wind picked up to about 18kts, so the first races were done pretty quickly. Div 0 had actually finished their first race before we had worked out way through the starting sequence for all classes! Then the wind died off somewhat, so we kept the same courses and just let them spread out a little bit longer, so it took slightly over 1 to 1.5 hours. Judging from the level of noise coming from the Main Bar right now, I think the sailors are all quite happy. "

A highlight for the regatta was the first appearance of four Cape 31s in a Club event - Capitano, Out of Africa, Rampage38, and Tai Chi. The C31s were competing against the bigger TP52s and two other strong Fast 40s competitors in Big Boat Division 0. After three races, TP52 Happy Go took two bullets to lift the trophy, while Out of Africa outperformed the other three Cape 31s taking 2nd place in the division.

Most Big Boat division winners stayed at the top after the first day of racing, with Admiralty Harbour Whiskey Jack and Zoe both maintaining their leads in Big Boat Division 1 and Division 3 respectively. Simplicity GS grabbed two bullets to climb to 1st place in Division 2.

In the biggest participating class (17 entries), Etchells King of the Pin maintained their steady performance to take the overall 1st place. Impala 1 (Impala), J/80 Footloose and Ruffian Victory 9 kept their leads in their divisions, lifting their respective trophies, while Dragons Dragonfly, Flying Fifteen Fei Faan and Pandora Panopae all took two bullets on Sunday to climb up to 1st place in their division. Although Magic 25 No Rush took two bullets, Gambit took 1st place in the Sportsboats division three points ahead, having very gamely sailed just three-up on the Saturday.

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