The Practice Race for Hong Kong Race Week took place this afternoon with around 80 boats signed on and racing taking place on three of the four courses. Charlie Manzoni, Principle Race Officer said “today’s practice race was a shakedown which was exactly what we needed. The conditions varied; we had about 10-12kts on the 29er course with two boats and about 7-9kts on the Optimist course with 36 boats. It’s going to be a bit more breezy tomorrow.”
Swiftly following the practice race was the official Opening Ceremony where Regatta Chairman Peter Davies welcomed the sailors, their coaches and families to RHKYC’s Middle Island. Said Davies, “We are delighted to have the participation of our overseas guests from Macau, China, Chinese Taipei, India and Abu Dhabi. We have a large local contingent too which is fantastic given that so many Hong Kongers go away on holiday at this particular time of year. We are also especially pleased to be able to welcome the windsurfers, another first for this kind of event; which is very much based on the multi-class Olympic model.”
Davies then introduced Hong Kong Sailing Federation’s Andrew Moore who echoed Davies’ sentiments and went on to thank the RHKYC’s officers, race officials, volunteers and staff. Moore also thanked the Home Affairs Bureau (Arts and Sports Development Fund) for their subvention support and thanked the Leisure and Cultural Services Department for their support of Hong Kong Race Week and their continued support of sailing in Hong Kong.
Rounding up the speeches were RHKYC youth sailors Sofia-Marie Mascia and Aidan Long who were invited to address the audience as Youth Ambassadors for the charities linked with Hong Kong Race Week; Sailability, Sailors for the Sea, Hong Kong Cleanup, Hong Kong Shark Foundation and Ocean Recovery Alliance.
The assembled crowd were then treated to a colourful Lion Dance on the hardstanding.