Hong Kong Race Week’s 340 sailors and volunteers must have all crossed their fingers and toes overnight to ensure that the weather gods brought back the breeze and cleared the fog in time for the final day of racing.
Principal Race Officer Charlie Manzoni said “It was an absolutely fantastic day today; we had 10 to 12kts right across the whole race course area. We got two round robins in for the Optimists as well as a Medals race and a Finals race. We got three races in for all the other fleets. We caught up and I’m very grateful to all of the competitors for letting us do that and the whole thing has been really good, it’s been a good way to end it.”
Alex Hill, Race Officer for the Green Fleet said “We had three great races in 10kts building to 12 to 15kts. We were back in Repulse Bay today and had about 29 competitors and we got three very good races off. The sailors advanced dramatically in their ability over the course of the Green Fleet programme and we are really proud of how well they all did and how much they learned. Some of the starts today were exceptional in terms of comparing back to where these guys started; they did a great job. We are very happy and we enjoyed the Green Fleet and we look forward to them advancing to the main fleet and seeing them again in the future.”
At Area B where the Optimists were racing, Race Officer Sofia Mascia said “Today was a brilliant day. The Medals race was a beautifully tight one; we had a boat leading at the first three mark roundings and then in the last upwind leg, the race was completely turned upside down which made it very exciting. After that we had the Finals race and we had a great, great breeze of around 15kts and all ended up well.”
The 420, 470, 2.4 Metre, Laser 4.7 and Laser Radial boats were at Area C in Stanley. On arrival, Race Officer Brenda Davies found quite a bit of fog but the wind was consistent at 070 at about 6 to 7kts and building. Said Davies “We set a course and started bang on time and to make sure that everyone was up to speed on their races, we started with the classes that had one less race - the Radials, 4.7s and 2.4 Metres. The wind built progressively and we ended up in the range of 13 to 16kts and we saw some very competitive starts today as well as some tight, face racing. It was a great day - I even got to put my sunglasses on when the sun finally came out. I was very happy with the course; it worked well, everyone worked hard and the sailors went home happy.”
It was a similar situation at Area D where the conditions weren’t looking particularly favourable at the start of the day with some residual fog and only 4kts of breeze. However conditions improved considerably and the first race of the day started in 8 kts. Race Officer Dave Norton said “Conditions continued to improve and the first race finished in 10 to 12 kts. The second race of the day for the windsurfers went ahead and the wind speed built to 15kts. In the afternoon, the wind speed continued to build which led to three very exciting 29er and Hobie 16 races, with 18kts at the windward mark and the immense effort made by all the competitors was amazing to see. We ended the regatta having completed eight races for all fleets in area D - a fantastic effort from the sailors and volunteers, considering we lost a day’s racing yesterday.”
The prizegiving ceremony was held after racing at Middle Island. RHKYC Rear Commodore Sailing Anthony Day began the proceedings and thanked the competitors, the Race Officers and Regatta Committee. He then introduced Neil Pryde who gave a few words to the crowd before presenting the prizes for the 29er, Hobie 16, RSX, Techno 293 and RSOne classes. Chairman Peter Davies addressed the crowed thanking his regatta committee and the over 100 volunteers that were required to run the regattas. Peter then turned the microphone over to Manu Messiaen who who made a speech on behalf of ASAF thanking HKSF and RHKYC for hosting the regatta and looked forward to the event growing in the future. Leo Wong of the Hong Kong Government’s Leisure and Cultural Services Departments rounded off the prize giving by awarded prizes to the 2.4 Metre, 470, 420, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, Green Fleet and Optimist classes.
We look forward to welcoming even more competitors to the 2016 Hong Kong Race Week!