16 TRADER TORNADO, Crystal and Lighthorse from Hong Kong claimed victory in HKPN Division A, B and IRC B respectively at the 10th China Cup International Regatta in Shenzhen Oct 27-30, while Wanhang Longcheer from Australia crushed it again during the battle among 138 teams from nations all over the world.
Of the 10 divisions racing in Shenzhen, the 25-strong Beneteau 40.7 attracts the most international entries and is widely considered the most competitive. Last year, Steve McConaghy and his Australian/Chinese crew onWanghang Longcheer had to match race with Emirates Team New Zealand on the final day of competition. This time helmsman Seve Jarvin, multiple world champion in the 18ft skiff, steered the boat to another inch-perfect start off the busy start line and in the light 6 to 7-knot breeze so Wanhang sailed away to win the first race of the day. With scores of 2,1,1,1, McConaghy was able to sit out the final heat and sailed back to the race village for an early pack-up and a well-earned Tsingtao beer.
Meanwhile, Guy Pilkington’s crew were struggling to make inroads and Yiihua & Pocket Team New Zealand’s final-day scores of 4,8 saw the Kiwis miss out on the podium by a single point. Instead it was Ellian Perch’s South African crew who sailed My Side brilliantly in the fickle conditions to score 2,1 on Sunday, lifting them to second overall ahead of Tim Davis’s Beijing Sailing Center.
Perch and the South Africans were delighted to come second, and their day was further enhanced with the opportunity to go for a pre-race sail with Peina Chen, China’s newest Olympic heroin who won a silver medal in women’s windsurfing at Rio 2016.
In the J/80 One-design class, Jim Johnstone steered J/Boats Racing Team to easy victory with a string of bullets. It was a feat matched by 2Kilo Sailing Team who won all its races in the Bavaria 37 fleet.
In the Big Boat division, Tiffany Koo’s Hero Racing repeated last year’s IRC Division A victory even if its final race was its worst. In IRC B, perennial winner, Shawn Kang’s Lighthorse picked up yet another China Cup trophy, but there was a new winner in IRC C as Sanya Yomovo Sailing Team beat defending champions Whiskey Jack.
On Sunday evening (Oct 30), the teams went to the final prizegiving and closing ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel Dameisha. www.chncup.com.
PHOTOS: STUDIO BORLENGHI / CHINA CUP.