BY APB STAFF on 12 Oct 2021

One of Hong Kong's best-known yacht races to start with 31 yachts competing

Having been postponed for a week thanks to Typhoon Lionrock, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club announced that the China Coast Regatta will be held from October 15 to 17.

China Coast Regatta 2020 – Photo courtesy RHKYC/Guy Nowell

This year marks the 29th edition of the China Coast Regatta, Hong Kong’s premier big boat event. Running out of the Club’s Middle Island clubhouse, 31 yachts will compete in six divisions: TP52, IRC 1, 2, 3, Cruiser and HKPN. Racing over the three days will consist of a variety of windward/leeward, geometric and island courses, all overseen by Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen and her race management team.

The TP52 division has four TP52s, with Alpha + skippered by Shawn Kang being the favourite after taking first place in the division in 2020. They will be challenged by Sam Chan, the veteran skipper and owner of Freefire, and two Chinese sailing teams: Phoenix, raced by Robert Wiest, Victor Kuk and David Ho; and Rampage 88 skippered by Noel Chan.

Competition will be tough in IRC Racer 1 division. Ambush (Mills 41), defending champion Zannekin (Ker 46) and Seawolf 2 (Ker 42 Custom) are all in contention to win the division. Neo One (Neo 400+) and Quest (Mills 41) are also contending for top spot.

IRC Racer 2 is the biggest contingent with eight yachts and is more of a mixed bag as to who will come out top of the leader board. Hot favourite is probably King Mills 40 Witchcraft skippered by highly competitive sailor Nick Burns, but Rampage (Tripp 40) owned by Kelvin Au Yeung and Nightshift (Judel Vrolijk Custom 36) owned by James Verner will be snapping at his heels.  Other strong contenders include Day Dream, Full Tilt, H30, Juggerknot, and Wicked.

China Coast Regatta 2020 – Photo courtesy RHKYC/Guy Nowell

Nick Southward, skipper of Admiralty Harbour Whiskey Jack¬†(J/109) is a favorite to win IRC Racer 3. But he’ll be facing a stiff challenge from¬†Dexter II (A35) skippered by experienced helmsman Simon Wong. They are joined by a head-on competition between three Sunfast 3600s: Arcturus skippered by Dennis Chien; Ding Dong skippered by Thomas Wong; and Zesst skippered by Henning Mueller. Expect stern challenges from Goddess¬†and¬†Juice.

In the IRC Cruiser division, Lisa Elaine and Xena will be racing around plenty of islands on the south side of Hong Kong. The HKPN fleet will not be racing on the Friday, but are saving their strength for the weekend when newly acquired Blowers Daughter and many recognisable names from previous editions of the regatta such as DEA II, Generations, Jibulai and Sea Wings will participate.