Nov. 7, 2012
Victoria Harbour full of Sails, Around the Island Race (RHKYC / Koko Mueller)
-- Anyone looking out of their window in Hung Hom or Chai Wan on the morning of Sunday 11 November will see the 220 boats expected to converge on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour for Hong Kong’s biggest annual celebration of sail and paddle.
On Race Day, from 0830hrs, the race will feature two start lines and a total of 20 starts for sailboats at RHKYC’s Kellett Island clubhouse, while a record 22 outrigger canoes and eight coastal rowing boats will start and finish in the calmer surroundings of RHKYC’s Middle Island sailing and rowing centre.
The Around The Island Race became an annual event in 1983, however its origins go back to 1864 when six boats raced around Hong Kong Island to Starboard (clockwise) and Hong Kong’s sailors have since regarded this route as a tricky challenge with unpredictable wind shifts.
Today’s course features a 26nm circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island to starboard, which has been sanctioned by Hong Kong Marine Department since 2003. If the breeze is sufficient, boats will finish back where they started, at Kellett Island, however if winds are light, the Race Officer, Ms Inge Strompf-Jepsen, may decide to finish the fleet at Green Island, Cyberport or Stanley.
Entries range from one-person dinghies to 50 foot cruising yachts and the outright winner of the race will be the fastest boat around, once ATI handicaps are applied. Last year’s winner, Sam Chan, will be defending his title on Flying Fifteen, Noisy Forefather II and hoping to lift the La Cigale Trophy once again.
Raymond de Malherbe, Senior Managing Director, Tommy Bahama International and Brian Pearce,
Managing Director, Tommy Bahama – Asia, will be on hand to present the trophy at the Prizegiving on Monday 12 November.