24 Hour Charity Race, Sunday

There were many bleary-eyed sailors and supporters at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club as dawn broke on Sunday morning in the annual 24 Hour Charity Dinghy Race.

Conditions were light overnight (between 1800 and 0400) with occasional puffs lasting 10 minutes or so. Not so for the period 2000 to 2200 according to Olivier Decamps of the Bubbalicious team, which completed just three laps in two hours. Others were even less lucky, barely completing one!

Fortunately, the breeze began to build as the morning progressed with 10- to 15-minute laps recorded.

A wide range of skills were on display on the water and more than a few capsizes. Positioning of boats on the course was also critical with those going close to the start / finish boat, Hebe One, often stalling, while those that went on the outside of Hebe One failed to pass through the gate with no lap recorded. There were other ‘obstacles’ on the course with run-abouts, motor yachts and even dragon boats on occasions obstructing the sailors.

By 1100, gusts of up to 15 knots were recorded but, after the sun broke through, around noon, the breeze briefly eased.

Meanwhile the onshore carnival continued with live music and DJ, Kevin Lewis, pumping out the hits. Being Halloween the venue was decorated with ghoulish themes, including giant spiders and skeletons, while sailors and supporters got into the spirit of the event in spooky attire. The various stalls also attracted much interest, particularly the bouncy castle for kids.

With the race concluding at 1400, festivities continued onshore whilst results were tabulated. The prize-giving began soon after 1530 and the bar stayed open until 1700 much to the delight of the revelers.

Don Johnston, commodore of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club, gave an impassioned speech of appreciation, thanking all 600 sailors and the 300 volunteers involved in race management, dock marshalling, time recording and safety. Also thanked were the club’s 70 full time and 30 part time staff who had all contributed to bringing the event to a successful conclusion, despite the difficult social distancing restrictions.

The support of the principal sponsors, Knight Frank, China Light & Power, Carlsberg and Corney & Barrow (wine merchants) was recognised, while tokens of appreciation were also presented to various participants, too numerous to mention here.

In the first event 20 years ago, 32 teams participated while this year – the 19th edition (2020 was cancelled) – 39 were on the water.

In concluding, Johnston was optimistic that having already raised HK$800,000 that they may be close, when all donations are counted, to their past record fund raising achievement of HK$1.2 million. Funds will be distributed, at a later event, to the Children’s Cancer Fund, IDEAL, Sailability Hong Kong, the Sai Kung District Community Centre and Treats when the overall prizes will also be presented, since these are based on a combination of racing results and fund raising.

The newly appointed General Manager, Paul Arkwright, was then introduced and, speaking in Cantonese, summarised the club’s appreciation to one and all.

It was then on with the prize-giving calculated on corrected times.

Winners of the 13 Hansa 303s
Corrected laps
1st                 H1 Sailability Warrior 1 (Star Fish)              92.96
2nd          H2 Sailability Warrior 1 (Sun Fish)              76.36
3rd           H45 Jelly Fish                                                      76.36

Winners of the eight RS Fevas
Corrected laps
1st           R2 Hebe Dragons                                             83.33
2nd                R6 RBJs                                                                 82.03
3rd           R1 French Int’l School (FIS)
Racing Team School                                        82.03

Winners of the nine RS Quests                                  Corrected laps
1st           Q3 Boom Bangers                                         81.62
2nd          Q4 Bubbalicious                                78.12
3rd           Q8 to be frank                                                   74.62

Winners of the eight Laser Picos                                               Corrected laps
1st           P8 Hebe Red Dragons                                   63.25
2nd          P3 FIS Racing Team                                          55.66
3rd           P4 Hebe Orange Dragons                             51.87

Enterprise                                                                           Corrected laps
H11 Sailability Enterprise                               4.49

Fastest Lap Awards average on corrected             Minutes
1st           H1 Sailability Warrior 1 (Star Fish)            15:31
2nd          R2 Hebe Dragons                                             17:19
3rd           R6 RBJs                                                                 17:35 

The Hebe Haven Yacht Club and all participants can be justifiably proud of their charitable and fun achievements under such difficult circumstances and Covid-19 restrictions.

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