Embracing variety as an adventure

Published on July 22nd, 2019

Karl Kwok of Hong Kong has never raced at the Edgartown Yacht Club’s Edgartown Race Weekend; however, it has always been on his sailing Bucket List.

This year, he’s following through by entering his magnificent 2018 Botin-designed IRC 52 Beau Geste in the event’s ‘Round-the-Island Race on Saturday, July 27 and the ‘Round-the-Buoys racing that precedes it on Thursday and Friday, July 25-26 in Edgartown, Massachusetts.

Many on his crew are the same who sailed for many years here with Martha’s Vineyard resident and regatta champion Jim Swartz aboard his IRC 52 Vesper. That includes Gavin Brady, who has sailed with Kwok since 1995 and whose role it is to work closely with Kwok to manage the Beau Geste program and serve as helmsman while Kwok serves as skipper.

“He has heard all of the great stories,” said Brady about Kwok, who has raced extensively around the world with a long line of successful boats, also named Beau Geste. “The Vineyard is an awesome destination, and the club has a great feel to it with loads of history. The ‘Round-the-Island Race is a very tactical race with tides and plenty of passing opportunities – always enjoyable and never the same. This will be as much a great adventure as a race.”

Sailing against Beau Geste in IRC division will be Fling 16, a Botin 56 owned and skippered by the UK’s Irvine Laidlaw, who also has chalked up a string of international racing successes aboard his predecessor sailboats of the same name.

“They have a new boat and will show up very competitive,” said Brady, adding that Beau Geste raced against Fling 16 in June in Newport, and it was very close. “They are a strong team. We will have some tight races, but both teams get along well and a few drinks at the Edgartown Yacht Club after racing will be enjoyable also.”

On a side note, this will be Brady’s first event where his daughter Carrington will be sailing as tactician for Beau Geste. “She learned to sail on the Vineyard in the Optimist Dinghy a few years back. It’s very cool to see her grow into a very good sailor, now 16 years old. I am sure she will be giving me plenty of advice during the three days of racing!”

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Editor’s note: We’ve always liked the sound of Edgartown Race Weekend… maybe some of the 3-day “race weeks” could scale down the hyperbole.

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