We just had a great start of the Hong Kong Dragon Championship (main sponsor Central Oceans, supporting sponsor Northrop & Johnson) in a greyer and colder than usual Hong Kong!
Race 1 started in 15-20 knots with an 18 boat fleet surprisingly quite conservative on the start. The right handside of the course paid and Christian Guyader (FRA365) rounded the windmark first shortly ahead of Tam Nguyen (HKG55) and Frederic Roumier (HKG40). HKG55 kept fighting with FRA365 for the lead until the finishing line with Christian finally taking the gun 1 second before the last Hong Kong Champion. NED373 took 3rd place, HKG40 4th and freshly crowned Japan Champion Akira Sawada (JPN52) 5th. International sailors were making a statement that they were not in Hong Kong just for dim sum and beijing duck! Note that Karl Grestad (HKG51) - whom we usually compete greatly with, had to retire for the day and the regatta as his genoa traveller came off.
Race 2 started with a general recall with at least 8 boats being over early. On the second start, the wind shifted 40 degree left during the starting procedure with the fleet not being able to cross the line on starboard. The part of the fleet who managed to tack to get out of the line managed to pull away on the right handside of the course. Virgile Simon Bertrand (HKG41) excelled in these shifty and light conditions to get a nice bulllet while the race was shortened at the end of the first lap. Virgile managed to pass both NED 373 and JPN52 on the downwind leg through a right hand pressure they spotted first. Singaporean visitor Vladimir Borstnar (HKG31) came 4th and Frederic Azemard (HKG47) 5th.
The wind strengthened and stabilized in direction which enabled our RO to start Race 3 in medium wind. HKG55 pulled a great start and rounded the windward mark ahead by playing the left hanside of the fleet while most of the fleet had tacked away to the right. They were to greedy at the leeward mark and lost a few places in a pretty ugly spinnaker drop... Lowell Chang (HKG46) took the lead and won the race ahead of Ronald Pfeiffer (NED373), Joseph Chu (HKG12), Tam Nguyen (HKG55) and Akira Sawada (JPN52).
After 3 races and assuming no discard, Ronal Pfeiffer (NED373) is leading the overall rankings while Lowell Chang (HKG46) is ahead in the Corinthian division. There is a lot more to play for with 6 more races. But we are expecting pretty strong wind today and even stronger Sunday and hope the weather will let us race!
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