A quality fleet of 40 boats will line up for Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s flagship ‘Big Boat’ regatta scheduled to take place from nine to eleven October in eastern Hong Kong waters. Making the most of the seasonal north east monsoon, the regatta committee has focused its efforts into revolutionizing the format and racing schedule, eschewing the traditional racing area off Lamma Island in favour of Nine Pins and Po Toi, in part to cater for the needs of the growing IRC Racer 0 fleet.
Rather than stipulating a rigid structure, the Sailing Instructions allow the Race Officer Sofia Mascia the freedom to tailor her courses and race formats to the prevailing conditions, which should keep the fleet on its toes at all times during the three day event. Courses have also been re-written and overseas boats should enjoy views of Hong Kong seldom seen by the casual tourist, with the Islands Courses taking in many landmarks in the eastern approaches, including the poetically named Fury Rocks.
The seven-strong IRC Racer 0 division includes the TP52’s FreeFire, Millenium Racing and Chinese entry Ark323. They are joined by Australian legend Syd Fischer on Ragamuffin 100, local legend Frank Pong on Custom 75 Jelik and Custom Smith 72 Antipodes.
While the ‘Hot 40s’ have a reputation as one of the hardest fought divisions, IRC Racer two boasts the largest contingent with 12 entries, including the Chinese sailed A40RC, Seawolf and many recognizable names from recent editions of the regatta. HKPN has also increased in size to eight entries for this year’s event, ranging from Flying Tiger 10, Kiasu, to Custom 30 Sloop DEA II.
Irrespective of size, it is hoped that this keenly anticipated regatta offers all the competitors a great series of races in some of the best sailing conditions in Asia.