Inter-School Sailing Festival

In what has become one of the most hotly-contested team racing events in Hong Kong, the 17th Boase Cohen & Collins Inter-School Sailing Festival was held last weekend.

Competing in this year’s event were 155 students in 22 teams from 17 educational institutions across Hong Kong.  Race Officer, Elberti Uiterwaal and her team of some 30 volunteers had their work cut out; getting through a grueling schedule of 100 races over the weekend.

The race course was situated right in front of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s sailing and rowing training centre at Middle Island, in the waters between the Clubhouse and the Deep Water Bay Seaview Promenade - a perfect location, offering the opportunity for the general public, parents and students alike and to witness this great display of tactical racing.

In what was predicted to be strong monsoon conditions, the Race Committee and competitors were greeted by 10 to 12 knots on Saturday morning however the breeze quickly dissipated.  The wind fluctuated throughout the day from 0… to 5kts.  Even with the challenging conditions, 46 out of the 50 races scheduled for the day were sailed.

Adding to the atmosphere was play by play race commentary provided by Jamie Boag Team Director of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - winners of the 2014 -2015 Volvo Ocean Race and Kevin Lewis.  On Sunday, the conditions proved even more challenging; once again only 0 to 5kts of breeze with intermittent heavy showers throughout the day. The day started with sailors racing the final four races of the qualifiers before going into the finals.

In the end, due to the conditions, only four final races were sailed on Sunday ultimately seeing the French International School being crowned Champion of Division  A (Feva) and Hong Kong Schools Sailing Association Champion of Division B (Pico/Fusion).

Hong Kong Schools Sailing Association Champion team member, Matthew Cheng commented on racing, “The biggest challenge of the weekend was the light conditions and overall the other teams were not that heavy (weight wise) so they had an advantage in the light conditions. We overcame the conditions with our good teamwork. We all called out to each other when we were in trouble, so we helped each other on the way around the track. Great team spirit!”

Prizes were presented in a perfectly timed downpour by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Vice Commodore Denis Martinet and Senior Partner of Boase Cohen & Collins Colin Cohen.

  Photos RHKYC / Guy Nowell
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