Etchells News

Hong Kong Stays True to Form

Posted September 15, 2013

Hong Kong weather was true to form for winter during the first two months of 2013. We have had some excellent racing days in the Harbour with steady breeze, blue skies and warm temperatures. The fleet continues to expand with newcomers and close, competitive racing has meant some series final results have been tight.

We completed the Cirrus Series - Hong Kong Etchells Association’s oldest - with top placegetter Fred Kinmonth sailing Quest (1051) lifting the trophy; Marty Kaye sailed Easy Tiger (884) into second place and Nick Burns with Gunga Din (1243) was third. Kinmonth and Kaye were very consistent through the series, and it was a nail-biter down to the last race. A race day postponement meant that, having begun the series in September last year, it was only decided in late February.

Easy Tiger was consistent again in the Paddington Green series, which finished just before Chinese New Year in early February with Marty Kaye and co-owners Simon Watson and Matt Norton scoring three seconds and two firsts. Nick Burns sailed Gunga Din into second overall and Mark Whitehead steeredMind the Bumps (1344) into third.

This season has been packed with racing as two races on Saturday afternoon is now the norm.   Completing the season were two more ‘new’ series: The Skip Etchells on March 9 and 16 in the Harbour and the Rum Series in April on the Lamma race course and we were pleased to see Mark Thornburrow turning out to clean up in the Rum and Nick Burns in the Skip Etchells.

The Hong Kong fleet is increasingly active as we move towards the Wold Championship in 2015. There is a regular turnout of 14 + boats, with one or two newcomers to the fleet showing some of the others the way home. Greg Kearns and Gus Reed, who bought HKG 402 only last year have put together a very competitive crew (including our Class Secretary) and they already have two firsts in the Farquhar series and third Etchells in the HKRNVR pursuit race held on March 2. Marc Jukes and Michael Coates in The Battler (903) have been fast in all races and often in the first three at the first windward mark; Thomas Cheung and Ian Richie have shown consistent improvement racing Diva (269) regularly in the harbour. Ian Fleming and Richard Nieto are moving through the fleet with Marianne 2 (1047) after a lengthy refit. The training sessions held earlier in the season have paid off with good crew work being evident in quick turns round marks and generally good boat speed throughout the fleet.

With a view to 2015, Jenny Cooper, our Worlds Event Coordinator has been very busy on our behalf, attending meetings to learn from the experience of the Flying Fifteens, who hold their own World Championships later this year, and we expect that there will be a good turnout of Etchells sailors for Race Management duties in connection with the Flying Fifteen Worlds. The Hong Kong Open Class Championships this year are provisionally set for November 22 to 24th.

On the social side the annual Etchells Class Prize Giving held on May 11 at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club lived up to its reputation. This year, instead of a ‘Play’ was a variety show in which participants were challenged to prove their memories of the 1970s. The photos tell the story.