Curtain comes down on successful Round Hainan Regatta
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
29:03:2013 – An unprecedented heavy downpour severely affected both IRC fleets from racing down the East coast of Hainan on the final day. The IRC 1 Classes contesting Stage 2 of the Round Hainan Race from Haikou to Sanya was shortened and the IRC 2 Classes did not even get started, as the storm left a vacuum in its path at the Shimei Bay International Marina Club in Wanning. After the Haikou start the yachts had to beat their way around the top of the island and down the East coast which finally gave Wang Lei’s Swan 82 You Bao a chance to stretch their legs and show their pedigree by taking the daily double at the third way point. The IRC 2 Racers were deprived of the chance to improve their standings and yesterdays tally will stand as the final overall results, as they faced a 100nm motor back to Sanya.
By Wang Lei’s Swan 82 You Bao stepping up and claiming the last race victory, has yet again changed the overall order in the IRC 1-A Class. The long windward beat helped Adam Ng’s Judel Vrolijk 52 Team Shenzhen Apat to score second place and ended up tied on points for the lead with Yan Yuye’s Archambault 40 Sea Wolf. The second place in the last race gives Ng’s Team Shenzhen Apat overall victory and takes home the Aloha Cup.
Once again Malaysia’s Vincent Chan Siew Onn’s Team Abdullah Chan (Sanya) showed their prowess in long distance racing to win the battle between the six Beneteau Oceanis 40’s. In doing so, they have won both stages of the Round Hainan Race and rise up to third overall in the IRC 1-B class. Second place for Martin Hingst’s Team Gaastra Men (Lingshui) gives them the overall title after dominating both the In-Port races in Sanya and Haikou. The Russians on Andrei Nichiporenko’s Team Volga (Danzhou) have pushed hard throughout the series and third place is enough to secure second in the overall stakes.
Three wins and a second place for Fan Guangming’s Jeanneau 57 Tai Qi gives them the IRC 2-A (Over 47ft) Class title. Zhong Huibo’s Jeanneau 53 Shen Ma has to settle on second place with Kiwi Mark Fullerton’s Farnova 48 Farnova Team Thinkpad slotting into third place.
Four wins in a row for Li Xiaohuan’s Bavaria 40 Xin Bu Dao Yacht Club completes the rout of the IRC 2-B Class. A string of second places for Xing Zengle’s bigger Bavaria 42 SLX Bauhinia, secures second place and keeps the Bavaria design on top of the pile. He Jinhao’s Beneteau Oceanis 43 Haimanyou holds onto third place and the best of the Beneteau designs.
Jonno Rankine’s Beneteau 40.7 Team Vatti has completely dominated the IRC 2-C Class and justifies dropping down to this class in order to secure the title. Sheer consistency has enabled Wang Shaojun’s Hainan Luke to slot into second place, with Zhao Guangyun’s 500 Wan coming in a close third in the nine boat fleet.
Despite the enormous amounts of sponsorship, promotion and organisation that has gone into bringing this event into reality, there are still some areas that could be improved. The ‘On the water’ race management needs to be more transparent in distributing information, results and their intentions to all the competitors and huge media presence. The level of competition is very indicative that yacht racing is still in its infancy in China but as in all developing nations, ‘It is what it is’ and will take time and a change in attitude to reach the next level. There is no shortage of having fun and celebrating the accomplishments which is an essential part to encourage the sport to progress into the future.