St. Regis International China Coast Regatta : Manzoni sets the races despite forcast

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Hong Kong Observatory, Wind Guru and Predict Wind were all in agreement, absolutely no sailing wind was expected on the race track today until late afternoon. Competitors sauntered up to the Middle Island buffet, confident that that a leisurely breakfast and perusal of the Sunday papers was in order, but being one race short of a regatta, Race Officer Charlie Manzoni had other ideas.

One of his ‘spies’ had spotted breeze on the race track, and rather than raise the AP ashore and risk missing an opportunity to eke out a decent race, Manzoni announced that he would be attempting to run racing to schedule. 

Out at the start area, the breeze was averaging 5.5kts of easterly, so no time was wasted in laying a two-lap windward leeward course for all divisions. In spite of the inauspicious forecast, all entrants were in the start area in good time and IRC Division 0 was first to go, managing to earn themselves a general recall in their enthusiasm, followed by Div 1 and Div 2, then a combined start for HKPN, Premier Cruising and Classic Cruisers.

By the time the middle of the fleet was rounding the leeward mark for the first time, the breeze was clearly tracking right and Manzoni made the call to lay new windward marks at 115 degrees. All the competitors took this in their stride, and a steady procession of finishers paraded past the committee boat, with Jelik, Peninsula Signal 8, Red Kite II, Xena, Blackjack and Goodwill taking line honours.

The breeze was holding fairly steady at 6 to 7kts at 115, so the RO decided to offer the racing divisions another windward leeward, but this time three laps of a shorter course, while Premier Cruising, Classic Cruisers and HKPN finally had a chance to sail a geometric course.

With the breeze starting to soften out after the first lap, the decision was made to shorten course for Racing Division 1 and Racing Division 2, while the other fleets were allowed to sail their full course. Line honours were taken by the usual suspects, with Jelik later disqualified for not keeping clear of Freefire at the leeward mark, but on corrected time the final results showed picket fences for Freefire, Red Kite II, Xena and Authority while EFG Bank Mandrake emerged victorious in her ongoing Racing Division 1 battle with Peninsula Signal 8. In HKPN, Will Swigart’s Goodwill recorded a convincing win in her first China Coast Regatta, with only one second place spoiling a perfect record.

With racing declared over for the day, competitors made their way back to RHKYC Kellett Island for the poolside prizegiving, where overall prizes were awarded by Fay-Linn Yeoh, regional brand manager of St. Regis. Sailors were then free to celebrate their achievements and dance the night away, making plans for the 2013 event.

The provisional dates for China Coast Regatta 2013 are 12 to 14 October, with the Offshore Category 1 Hong Kong to Vietnam Race starting on 17 October. 

Full results of the St. Regis International China Coast Regatta are available at 

Koko Mueller

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 October 2012 )