Discovery Bay Yacht Club

Commodore’s comment
So, will having the Volvo Ocean Race in town inspire more people to get into sailing? I hope so.

Where will they start? Probably they will get talked in to a dinghy course at RHKYC, which is a good beginning, but it won’t feel much like the racing yachts they have been crawling over at the Volvo Village.

A better way would be to get in touch with DBYC – our members are always looking for crew, and are happy to train novices. If you find you like sailing and want to take it seriously there are plenty of crew courses you can take, but if you just want to learn enough to be useful on a boat and have a fun day out now and again, our members are very willing to have you along.

A smile and unfailing reliability count for a lot in our club!

Commodore, Discovery Bay Yacht Club

DBYC’s annual ‘Soko Under the Stars’ rally attracted 13 boats, despite the many sailing and
musical distractions over this crowded weekend. A steady breeze and skilled handicapping brought the fleet to an exciting photo finish off South Soko, with most boats finishing within 10 minutes of each other. Nik von der Luehe captained Legs eleven to take the Soko Cup with a dramatic spinnaker finish, closely pursued by Andy Pickles and his experienced hands on ZhuLu, who just pipped rookie David White, sailing two up, on Alexa.

Shore parties quickly prepared a huge bonfire from the plentiful typhoon-delivered drift wood and fallen trees, pitched tents, watered the dogs, set up the BBQs, booze supplies and party lighting. As the sun set, a floodlight picked out an immaculately-kilted lone Scotsman, David Gardner, who piped all salts ashore for sundowners and prizegiving. The festivities continued with star gazing and performances around the blazing fire — the youngsters showing the oldies there was life beyond 60. The party really cranked up when our piper regained the floor for some serious Highland dancing into the wee hours.

Despite limited sleep from boat parties and over-vigilant guard dogs, dawn wake-up yoga by yogi Susan Kriedler roused the fleet, followed by beach clean-up and the traditional island tour led by Soko enthusiast, Richard Winter. Disappointingly, he did not get lost this year but, to the delight of the oldies, the break-away group of intrepid youngsters had to re-join the tour, defeated by precipitous rocks.

Saturday, the 18th, and Sunday, the 19th of November, was the annual DBYC Middle Island Regatta Race, a two-day event starting from Discovery Bay, to Middle Island, and returning the next day after a night stop.

The race committee awoke Saturday morning with all sorts of ‘quality promises’ of strengthening winds from the best and most expensive wind apps on the market. Ultimately the home town hero — Hong Kong Observatory — was spot on, forecasting a light north to northeast on Saturday with a stronger NE monsoon front and temperature drop due to arrive later in the day.

Saturday’s race plan was set for a shortened course from Discovery Bay, starting in the vicinity of Datum Rock and finishing abeam the Yuen Kwok Light off the south of Lamma Island (approx. 9nm). At the scheduled race start . . . hardly a zephyr. After a brief delay, it was decided to shorten the course further and a start line was set abeam the Lamma Island power station as a downwind run (approx. 7nm), with all divisions now starting at the same time. It was quite exciting to watch the fleet negotiate the start with a following tide and through a mine field of fish traps and fishing boats. Kudos to all the boats with none over early, and some brilliant tactics from the crews.

With the wind remaining fluky and light through the day, line honours went to Legs eleven (Nik von der Luehe) and the Div A win, with Andiamo 2nd (Cynthia Wong) and Aegean 3rd (James Oliver).

B division saw Lola 1st (Neil Nowosad), Square Bear 2nd (Ben Wilson) and Illusion 3rd (Simon Ludlow) across the line with only a few minutes to spare before the race cut off at 1600. With the fleet securely tied up, the post-race debrief ensued on the dock at ABC Middle Island. As always, crews rehydrated with some great Carlsberg beers and Somersby ciders whilst swapping many tall tales. A big thank you to Carlsberg for once again supplying the refreshments and being a generous, dedicated sponsor for this event.

Saturday’s prize-giving was held at RHKYC Middle Island later in the evening, just as the much anticipated cold front arrived with a vengeance. Congratulations go to Andiamo for taking away the best dressed / themed boat award and Legs eleven the coveted rear end award . . . for keeping Hong Kong’s waters plastic free with their propeller.

Sunday morning dawned with the wind well and truly established from the northeast, 15 to 20 knots being reported across the course. At the recovery breakfast and race briefing, the race officer set the longer “more wind” return plan into motion (14.5nm). The Sunday pursuit race back to Discovery Bay is a staggered start so the fleet ultimately are supposed to arrive at the finish line at roughly the same time. A very fast pace was set on the homeward journey with all boats averaging a 2.30hr run.

The weather really turned it on, with some large following swells rounding the south of Lamma Island and then flat water for the northerly run up to Peng Chau with a constant 15 to 20 knots of apparent wind. A very enjoyable day on the water with smile-inducing speeds to match.

Line honours to Square Bear, 2nd Illusion and 3rd Lola. Rear end award to Sapphire (Richard Carrey, ‘Captain snooze’) and crew, Spirit Award to Illusion. Div A regatta winner was Legs eleven, Div B regatta winner Square Bear, with the Bear Boys taking out the Overall Regatta trophy by 1 point from Lola, which also had an outstanding campaign.

A big thanks to all the competitors for taking part and a big thanks again to all our sponsors — your support is greatly appreciated. Hope to see you all again next year.

— by Race Officer, Ben Wilson

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