Around the Island Race

In varied conditions, the Turkish Airlines Around the Island Race, held on Sunday, the 18th of November 2018, kicked off under grey overcast skies until the fleet hit Cape d’Aguilar. From there, still under kite, the sailors reveled under blue skies and a fresh, following breeze. Altogether, 195 boats participated in this spectacular showpiece of yachting in the territory. By the way, the first round the island race was held in 1864.

Taking the overall ATI win was Mark Thornburrow’s Flying Phantom catamaran, Flyer, followed by Tat Choi Fung’s Nacra 17 catamaran and Akira Sakai’s 49er, Rocket Ron.

Winner, Mark Thornburrow, said, “It was a fantastic race for us; the winds were perfect, the direction was good, not too strong – otherwise it gets a bit scary on the phantom. The winds were probably 10 to 18 knots which is about right for us. There was enough breeze to trapeze out and lift the hull going upwind, so it was great! We slowed down off Green Island for 10 to 15 minutes but didn’t quite stop. My crew, Andy Service, has sailed with me for the last 10 years on and off.  The best part for us was going past Shek O and passing Frank Pong’s Custom 70, Jelik.”

The biggest yacht in the fleet was Karl Kwok’s MOD Beau Geste and the smallest were the three 29ers which were all skippered by under-19 sailors. Out of the 29ers, 15-year-old Malo Kennish received the Hayes Morgan Trophy for the first skipper under 18. MOD Beau Geste took the fasted elapsed time of 02h 16m 45s, narrowly missing out on the race record by 3m 34s.

Deputy race officer, Inge Strompf-Jepsen, summed up the conditions. “There wasn’t a lot of wind, but it was a steady breeze. The wind shifted from easterly to southeasterly and followed the fleet around, pushing the fleet through the Lamma Channel. We only had one hiccup at the end of the Lamma Channel coming towards Green Island; we had a short period where we had a few doldrums. However, the yachts came out quickly and were then heading back up into the harbour 10-12 knots with a 1-knot of tide against them.”

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