11 boats from Hong Kong’s Formula Classes Association, including seven F18s were invited to join the Volvo Ocean Race in-port racing as a warm up act for the VO65s. This included windward leeward racing on the same race track inside Hong Kong Harbour on the Saturday followed by a race around Hong Kong Island (~25 miles) the next day.
Peter Davies- Hong Kong Secretary: “It was also an exercise in logistics as the group had to sail a 12 miles upwind delivery trip to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club through the heart of the harbour on the day before. Racing in one of the worlds busiest harbours is not something the Formula Classes get to do very often, and we were treated to a full race committee, fully equipped mark layers setting gates at both ends of the course, and security boats to keep the crowds away. Not to mention the helicopters and marine police escort on the way around the island.”
“We experienced a range of conditions, from a shifty 15 – 20 knots for the windward leewards to a tide assisted drifting start for the attempt to sail around Hong Kong Island. We’ve found that F18s are not far off the VO65s on speed, but probably less suited to a race over 6000 miles. The VOR gave us a prizegiving on their stage in the heart of the race village, and made us feel special all weekend. All in all, a fantastic three days of sailing, with an exclusive, limited edition T shirt to remember it by.”
Hopefully we’ll see more like this in Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (USA), Cardiff (UK), Gothenburg (Sweden) and at the finish in The Hague (Netherlands).
Photo credits: Jimmy Leung and Naomi Rebecca (Facebook Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club)