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Cork's Jamie McWilliam Toasts Success in Hong Kong's Around the Island Race

21st November 2017
Cork's Jamie McWilliam Toasts Success in Hong Kong's Around the Island Race

Royal Cork Yacht Club's Jamie McWilliam has won Hong Kong's Around the Island Race.

It was a day of varied conditions for the 2017 Turkish Airlines Around the Island Race with everything from 2 to 28kts of easterly breeze being reported across the race track. Approximately 1,400 people on 230 boats and even two lifejacket-- clad dogs took part in this year's 26nm circumnavigation.

The big winners of the day were ex-pat Jamie McWilliam now based in Hon Kong with his crew Simon Macdonald and Peter Austin onboard the EtchellsShrub, they crossed the finish line at 14h 19m 07s to take the overall win with a corrected time of 4h 59m 02s.

It took two start lines located off of Causeway Bay and Hung Hom and 22 consecutive starts to get the fleet away. There were boat breaking conditions right off of the start with the first casualty of the day headed back to the club by 0830hrs due to a broken mast and boom. The fleet tacked their way up the starboard side of the Hong Kong Harbour course, avoiding exclusion zones and Hong Kong's busy marine traffic and through Lei Yue Mun gap.

Once the fleet reached Shek O rock they met with big swells of 2 to 3m, which proved difficult for some of the smaller fleets. Persevering on was the first Para athlete to compete in the Around the Island Race; Foo Yuen-Wai representing Sailability Hong Kong on board a 2.4mR, the smallest boat in the fleet The Kaplan, not only is Foo the first Para athlete to compete, he is also the first one to sail single- handed. Foo completed the race and sailed across the line at 16h 11m 24s.

Another first was Sean Law on board S M Kwan and Thomas Wong's Sunfast 3600 Ding Dong Sean who is just 77 days old did his first Around the Island Race with mother and father Sally and Dominick.

Kites were hoisted after the fleet rounded D'Aguilar point with gusts up to 28kts. There were a few exciting broaches and resulting in a few more retirements. However, with the large swell running along the Sheung Sze Mun channel, some boats were fully launched and able to surf in on the run towards Stanley Gate.

The swell tapered off as did the breeze, as the fleet approached Round Island. A park up ensued off the Cyberport Gate, where supporting sponsors St. James's Place were waiting to greet the fleet on a spectator yacht. Once the fleet rounded Green Island the breeze increased a little but there were still a few holes along the harbor. First to make the circumnavigation was Bruce Anson and Wei Jie's Discover Sail Asia an RC44 with an elapsed time of 4h 19m 21s.

Published in Etchells
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