Over recent years, the team have proved almost invincible in Asia, having won a long string of titles as well as placing Top 10 in last year’s Hobie 16 World Championships.
Over 30 teams from Thailand, Japan and the Philippines competed in the two-day event. Moderate winds on the first day enabled the Race Officer to run five back-to-back races, but slight fluctuations in wind direction changed the favoured side of the course and kept sailors on their toes as they tried to pick out the best line. Local sailor Gavin Sum tacked early after the start of the first race to benefit from a lift which gave him a healthy lead at the A mark. Managing to hold off a chasing fleet for the remainder of the race allowed him to score an unexpected, but warmly congratulated victory. Said Gavin “I was a bit fortunate on the first beat and got a big jump on everyone, then just did the same thing again!”
Fresher conditions on the second day started to test the mettle of the fleet, and whilst the Vongtim team continued to stamp their authority, Hong Kong National Team Tong Shing and Kit Tong were able to put together a more consistent set of finishes, recovering to second place overall. Karl Chan and Gary Ku did enough to finish third, squeezing out the other Thai team of Teeraprong Watiboonruang and Pasuree Sompalasin for fourth. In the IAE Open Catamaran races held at the same time, Mike Scantlebury and David Harris were rarely troubled in their F18 Wildcat.
Trophies and goodies from event sponsors and supporters were handed out at the Sunday Prize giving, and a big thank you goes to Vistra, IAE (Institute of Accountants Exchange), Fragrant Harbour, Aberdeen Boat Club, Energy Watt, Blue Fin, IBS (International Broking Services), Hong Kong Sea School, and Blood Red Clothing. Big thanks too to Hong Kong Sailing Federation and Hong Kong Hobie Club for organizing the event.
Apart from rewarding the top three in each fleet, Race Officer, Jerry Rollin also gave out prizes for mishaps that many sailors were probably hoping to keep quiet about, including pre -race capsizes, missed starts and crews falling through the mainsail.
Sailing action and carnage in the photos below! Writing credit goes to Christian Wright.