Round The Island Race Report

 Round the Island Race Report…courtesy of Mike Scantlebury

Round the Island Race 2015Well done to all those who entered. Although this is a tough race we have many fine cat sailors in Hong Kong who could and should do it. Those of you who chose to rest or a lie-in not missed an epic race.
There were 234 starters in total of which, 20 were cats, including the first race appearance of the foiling Flying Phantom, sailed by Etchells hot-shots Mark Thornburrow and Laurence Mead. We couldn’t let a pair of part time cat sailors beat us. Could we? We have had bigger cat fleets in the past but this did not diminish the enthusiasm of those that gathered on the slipway that morning.
The forecast was for a force 4-5 easterly and it did not disappoint. The early starters had the best of the breeze off the RHKYC and the cats, starting last at 09:50 H16’s (a total of 12) and Darts and 10:00 Formula boats and Phantom (total 8), started in a gentler breeze with a lot of boat to catch.
Chris Steilberg and daughter….sailed/towed over that morning and timed it badly missing the start by about 5 minutes. Steve Wallace, also sailing over that morning, fared even worse and failed to make it. I’m not sure what happened but he did arrive later in the day at LBC grinning. So he must have a good sail if not a good race (see overall results below)!
The most enjoyable start was watching Steve Devlin / Sam Frank Lining up for a perfect start and getting tangled in a port/starboard (I think!) incident with a coxed four rowing boat. Lots of swearing followed and they eventually crossed the line in last place, as both craft asserted their rights.
Soon after the start we were all twin-wiring beating up the harbor, dodging ferries, picking the shifts and guessing the tidal flows. The Phantom was first to Lei Yue Mun gap, by which time the formula boats had caught up with most of the H16’s and slow monohulls, followed by Peter Davies/Niccolo Manno with Doris Hung/Christophe …..close to their transom. Mike Scantlebury/Dave Harris and were close behind having dodged the same rowing boat twice , as boats tried to stay out of the incoming tide.
Steve Devlin’s bad luck was to continue and end his race. Although on starboard, Steve wisely chose to go behind a yacht that was ignoring shouts from Sam. The skipper of the yacht inexplicably decided to change course at the crucial moment and went head –to-head with Steve. A collision was inevitable and significant damage was caused to the cat. Fortunately Steve and Sam are tough guys and suffered no injury. The skipper of the yacht was fortunate that neither of them could get to him otherwise he may well have ended his race in hospital.
Karl Chan and Bryan Tsang were the lead two H16’s and were about to hit the kind of reach that H16 sailors dream about. There followed a screaming twin-wiring reach from Chai wan to Cape D’aguilar in a strong breeze, big seas and all round hard work. The cats passed monohulls to leeward or windward as though they were becalmed. Crews leaned over the rails, looking sick and envious at the cats having a great time.

Turning Cape D’aguilar Mike/Dave capsized on a gust and the Phantom, Doris’s Nacra 17 and Peter Davies’ Tiger sped on to the next mark at Bluff head. Flying the spinnaker was extremely tricky in the strong gusty wind and they were up and down numerous times as boats got overpowered. The monohulls broached and dropped kites in the water to add to their day of fun. The sun was shining and we had 18-20knots, what was there not to enjoy?
Soon the cats were past Ap Lei Chau and amongst the fast keel boats at Cyberport. At this point the wind normally drops to nothing and slight puffs swirl tantalizing out of reach. The felt catches up and the race re-starts! Not this year. The Easterly had enough strength to push the boats past Cyberport and onto Green Island and the beat up the Western Approaches. There were still plenty of boats in front including, two Etchells and some big keel boats.
First over the line, Mark/Laurence on the Phantom, just under 3 hours, great stuff (but apparently not as fast as the first Moth which managed 2:47!). Scants/Harris 2nd in just over 3 hours, and then close behind I think Davies/…..followed immediately by Doris/Christophe. However, just as the F18’s were congratulating each other for 1st and 2nd Multihull (on handicap) a couple of H16’s appeared off West Kowloon and were moving nicely and crossed the line soon after the F18’s. So Karl Chan claimed overall 1st multihull (on corrected time) and 2nd overall (behind a 29’er sailed by Callum Gregor), followed by Bryan Tsang who was 2nd multihull and 4th overall.
Many congratulations to Doris/Christophe, finished 11th overall and Doris won the Lady Godiva prize for the first placed female helm. Phoebe Tang, sailing a H16 also bagged a Lady Godiva prize for a podium finish amongst the ladies.
So well done the H16’s and to all those who made it around. We were back at LBC around 3:00pm!
For those who did not get around, better luck next year?
Results are as follows:
Overall cat places (apologies for omitting crew names as they are not disclosed on RHKYC website)
Overall cat places (apologies for omitting crew names as they are not disclosed on RHKYC website)
ATI position helm
2 Karl Chan H16
4 Bryan Tsang H16
5 Mike Scantlebury F18
6 Peter Davies F18
11 Doris Hung Nacra 17
14 Yun Keung Ngai H16
17 Ronald Tam H16
24 Chris Steilberg H16
27 Chris Shu H16
29 Andy Lau H16
44 Mark Thornburrow Phantom
49 Richard Desvignes H16
76.5 Phoebe Tang H16
94 Klaas jan van Putten H16
101 Ka Yau Lai Dart
103 Siu Pui Cho H16