Commodore's Message - January 2021

As I write these lines, I have to project myself into the future, a brighter and more cheerful one, one where we are no longer riding these viral waves but just those created by a benevolent Neptune.


So let’s – Here’s to a Happy New Year. As I fire the gun at midnight, I hope to fire 2020 into oblivion and bring about 2021. One better than 2020, one as the start of something new, sunnier and positive.


With this in mind, I wish all members and their families great sailing, rowing and paddling in this new year.


And the sailing year starts with the One Global HKRNVR Memorial Vase on 9 January, the third of the four events that make up the Top Dog Trophy Series 2020-2021. But first a bit of history:


“The presentation of the then 116 year old Georgian silver vase with dolphin handles, which was purchased out of the HKRNVR pre-war mess funds, was handed to Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Commodore, N.V.A. Croucher by Lieutenant Commander J.C.M Grenham RNVR (Ret.) for a competition to perpetuate the memory of HKRNVR members who gave their lives during World War II”


Initially the intention was that the race course would replicate the routes that the HKRNVR would patrol. Over time sadly, elements out of our control have forced us to fall back on our tried and tested courses. Still a very fun and competitive race. But we shall renew with tradition and history. The grandson of Lieutenant Commander Grenham, Nick Grenham is a member and we hope he will be able to handover the trophy once prize giving resumes!

Following the Memorial Vase is Hong Kong Race Week, the largest youth regatta in Asia, which we co-organise with the Hong Kong Sailing Federation. Held from 19 to 24 January, this fantastic event takes place across three race tracks in the areas of Middle Island, Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, Stanley, Tai Tam and Beaufort. And for the very first time, we shall also include a Waszp category, so watch out for some speedy foiling.


Which brings me swiftly to the Liberty Bitcoin Youth Foiling World Cup 2021-2022. We were incredibly thrilled with the support the Youth Foiling World Cup received from fellow sailing clubs around the world and also from Persico 69F, whose innovative boats were a key component of this event. We had set ourselves a target of 12 teams and were awed to achieve over 20 entries.


That enthusiasm was soon dampened , as with a worsening local Covid-19 situation we announced we would no longer be able to host the event in Hong Kong and decided to move it to a new location, while keeping the dates and racing format. Accordingly, Persico 69F, Federazione Italiana Vela (Italian Sailing Federation) and RHKYC are now working to hold the inaugural first Liberty Bitcoin Fund Youth Foiling World Cup in Italy from 19 February to the 12 of March 2021. The bright outcome is that we are no longer looking at a singular event but a tour comprising 3 events, the last of which planned for Hong Kong in later 2021! And thanks to the generosity of our sponsor Liberty Bitcoin Fund, the overall winning team will receive a Bitcoin, making it one of the richest prize money on the circuit! Fun days ahead for sailing if this groundbreaking event can come about!


And a special hat’s off to Club staff and members who spent long and stressful hours to bring, and will continue to, this truly unique competition to life.


In rowing, the Hong Kong Coastal Rowing Coastal Championships co-organised by the Hong Kong China Rowing Association and the Club and the Middle Island Race Series which are dedicated to our youth rowers (age under 19) are on the list this January. The Red Bull 3 Peaks Race which was scheduled to be held on 12 and 13 December is now deferred to 6 and 7 February. I would like to wish all the rowers and paddlers a successful 2021 season!


And if you want to go out and have fun, grab one of our Stand Up Paddle Boards. I did and it was great!


For someone the year is indeed starting well – our very own Brenda Davies, Assistant Manager – Race Management, has been appointed a World Sailing International Race Officer. Congratulations! Great to know your skills have been recognized, especially after the sterling job you and your fellow race officers did for the Etchells Class Champs! And work you did after all these general recalls. Never a fleet was so eager to go sailing. Hopefully 2021 will see plenty of that!


Another personnel announcement is the election of member Cheung Mei Han as President of the Hong Kong Sailing Federation. A stalwart of the Etchells Class and a talented sailor for Hong Kong, we are all very excited to have her piloting our sport for the next few years. She replaces Tong Shing who had a successful tenure over the last four years and our gratitude goes to him for his dedication and promotion of sailing during that time.


Bon vent, fair winds to all!


Denis Martinet Commodore




January 2021 Video Message