When I took over as Commodore, I was presented with a Flag. Unlike my previous Vice Commodore’s Flag, this new flag lacks a big ball. A big crystal ball! With the ups and downs we have experienced this year, it is nigh on impossible to predict what will happen. So let’s make the most of it. Let’s do what we do best: sailing, rowing and paddling and just in time for the start of the 2020-2021 season too! Long may this last.
The first official regatta to kick off the sailing season was the Autumn Regatta held over the weekend of 12 and 13 September. This opening event attracted 101 boats and more than 550 sailors across seven one-design classes, Sportsboats and Big Boats. In my opening remarks, I had hoped that Aeolus, keeper of the Winds, would look kindly upon us and ensure we had breeze aplenty. Well yes, we did on day two. He must have had a glass of bubbly in hand! On the first day however Aeolus greeted all participants with a massive storm, bringing visibility down to almost nothing, punctuated by lightning flashes. The season started indeed with a bang!
The China Coast Regatta will be held at Middle Island from 9 to 11 October with the inaugural China Coastal Race starting on Friday 16 October making up China Coast Race Week. China Coastal Race will be a Category 3 offshore race starting and finishing in Hong Kong waters. On a more disappointing note, the Youth America’s Cup was cancelled thanks to Covid-19. At the time, our young sailors from RHKYC Team Agiplast had just completed their first foiling competition at the Revolution Cup and had performed to a very high level indeed. Faced with stiff competition, they showed real skills and talent, medaling in the first Revolution Cup. The team’s achievements are demonstrating that given the right tools and support our very own sailors can not only acquit themselves but perform at an international level. Upon their return to Hong Kong we plan to have members of RHKYC Team Agiplast slip into role models, encouraging and taking part in further competition among our shark sailors and other youths, thus perpetuating our youth development objective.
Back to the Youth America’s Cup – where one door closes, another opens and we are currently very seriously looking at hosting a world class foiling event right here in Hong Kong. As soon as our plans firm up and we have lift off (on foils!) we’ll let you know.
Marine has been conducting maintenance on Club boats during the non sailing period and we have replaced the mooring chains and shackles at Aberdeen. The new ramp for the Middle Island forklift has been completed so that when a severe typhoon threatens, the forklift can drive up the ramp on to the plinth seeking refuge well above any tidal surge.
Our rowing and paddle sports members are training hard this month in preparation for key events taking place in October and November. The fine rowing squad will be putting final preparations in place for the Hong Kong Rowing Championships scheduled at the end of the month and both the coastal rowing and outrigger canoe teams will be training hard in preparation for the Around the Island Race taking place on 15 November.
Social distancing measures permitted, we hope to be hosting the wildly popular Mussel Party this month as well as the Regatta Ball next month. Both the new Club exclusive Red and White ‘Boat Wine vgs’ have arrived to complement the Club’s exclusive Cuvee du Commodore which has proved very popular. And is now available in Magnum format too!
A new initiative which we also hope will become popular is the Commodore’s Message video. Indeed, if you read the online version of Ahoy, you will be able to click and view it. Far from making me a movie star, or ‘YouTuber’, it aims to provide members with glimpses of people and places you may not know, and also relive some of our more memorable sporting moments.