Such is the competitive nature of the Beneteau 40.7 fleet at the China Cup International Regatta in Shenzhen, that seven boats jumped the gun in today’s first race
and paid the price with an OCS disqualification. Chief beneficiary of this upset to the leaderboard was Rick Pointon’s Beijing Sailing Center, last year’s winner of the Beneteau division in the China Cup.
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Three months ago, a Soto 27 keelboat didn’t even exist in China, but after a rapid building programme there are 10 of these new one-design boats competing in Shenzhen this week. Jim Johnstone, of J-Boats fame, is skippering Liu Zhou Riviera Team with a crew that he has been coaching intensively in the art and science of sailboat racing. However Johnstone was blaming himself this evening after letting his Argentinean rivals on Team Goldrooster slip past him on two occasions.
“I just lost my head a couple of times today, forgetting the important stuff,” said Johnstone. “With 91 boats on the race track – even if you’re not racing all of them – the wind in the middle of the course gets very chopped up and it’s often better to sail at the edges.”
Agustin Eujanian’s crew hold a one-point lead over Johnstone after scoring 1, 1, 4 Saturday. As Goldrooster’s helmsman, Andy Domato, pointed out, the 4th place should have been better but for the jib halyard releasing at a critical point of the race just before the windward mark when they were leading. That gear failure saw three boats slip past, but the Argentineans are certainly looking strong if they can avoid such errors for the remaining two days of competition.
The China Cup International Regatta 2012 takes place on 26th to 29th October 2012 in the waters of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Its consist of four days of racing organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), Shenzhen Marine Sports Base and Shenzhen Vanke Longcheer Yacht Club (LYC).
There are 91 entries representing 18 nations: Colombia, Australia, China, Hong Kong, China, Germany, France, Israel, Turkey, Singapore, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius, Argentina, Uruguay, Philippines, USA and the Netherlands.
27 October 2012 21:28