Hong Kong Dragon Championship 2015

Hong Kong Dragon Championship 2015

Published on February 2nd, 2015

BillCox_Dragon2015_05-0004Hosted by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the 2015 Hong Kong Dragon Championship had 14 boats lined up for a two-weekend regatta (Jan. 17-18 and 24-25) at Middle Island.

You can guess from the opening lines that Lamma delivered on the weather with gusts of over 30 knots on the first day. From the get go; the racing was demanding on both helms and crews. There were decent rollers and plenty of surfing and although the overall event was to be dominated by two boats, plenty of people saw action and no one went home without feeling some sense of accomplishment, including. Phyllis Chang gaining line honours for the first race, after taking advantage of a spectacular and disorderedly leeward mark rounding by some people who should really know better! From race two onwards, D55 Zephyr / Tam Nguyen and Graham Bailey and lead the field with D1 Celines / Marc Castagnet snapping at her heels.

The first Saturday wasn’t all about just two boats though. As many of you those of you know, Lamma is a demanding location,; and with a constant breeze of over 20 knots (gusting 35) with often confused and a confusing sea state, boats and crew need to stay alert and prepared. Some seriously professional crewing was delivered across the whole fleet with a special mention to D47 Wudi / Frederic Azemard / Guillame Douin, who started racing Dragons two seasons ago, and proving that hard work and determination does deliver good results. No mention of heavy weather can be made without including the baritone that is Jozef Roels, can ever be allowed… Well-done to Jozef for explaining to everyone their rights and wrongs!

Saturday also delivered breakages,; with D12 Eaux Vives / Joseph Chu suffering a broken mast and D51 Mei Fei / Karl Grebstad suffering a broken Australian. Well done Joseph for repairing the mast and well done Karl and Nick for repairing Greg (sorry you couldn’t repair the jib car).Sunday was a more muted affair, with two boats down and crews aching from the first day’s action. Nothing could be more different on the water, with a warm 10kn NE breeze delivering an even course. Phyllis and Lowell Chang produced a family; 1, 2 and the leading boats D55 and D1 extended their regatta points advantage, wrapping up the first weekend.

As morning dawned on the second Saturday of racing, Wind-guru was showing what looked like a re-run of the first weekend. Helms and crews braced for the worst, pairing their boats down to essentials so as to avoid the inevitable slop that occurs with kit in this situation. Racing was similar to the first Saturday, all boats were repaired and pared down and despite some unavoidable sail damage to D31 Nattigheid and poor Bram Van Olphen, most boats made it through the day with little damage. If we ignore the leaders who continued to fight it out, the mid-fleet racing was tight and aggressive despite the conditions. No quarter offered or given in these tricky conditions, and although the results show consistent positions for Phyllis Chang, Lowell Chang, Joseph Chu and Simon Chan, the racing was close and spirited to the line.

Going into the again much quieter last day; D55 showed a narrow points margin with her discards. D1’s only chance for victory was to create some tactical advantage from the line and keep D55 in tow for the race. This however was to be D55’s regatta, Tam delivered consistent and workmanlike helming ably supported tactically by Graham Bailey from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. Mid fleet racing again was aggressive and with Phyllis Chang and Lowell Chang delivering strong results.

Results 2015
1st D55 Zephyr / Tam Nguyen
2nd D1 Celines / Marc Castagnet
3rd D50 Phyloong II / Phyllis Chang

1st D55 Zephyr / Tam Nguyen
2nd D1 Celines / Marc Castagnet
3rd D46 Davinloong / Lowell Chang

Complete results: http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/DragonResults.aspx?sheet=Class%20Champs%20Series

Source: Words by Rupert Street. Pictures by Bill Cox.

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