Day one of the RHKYC China Coast Regatta kicked off bright and breezy with 13-20 knots of a swinging North Easterly breeze and lump seas.
Early casualties included Ant DAY'S Sayer 13 "Siren" from IRC A after trawling around the bottom mark and Lowell CHANG'S X99 "Dexter" from IRC B after losing her rig in a clash with Y K Szeto's Mumm 30, "Tornado", however the earliest and possibly luckiest escape was Rob SALLONS sailing on board Marcel LIEDTS' X612 "Hocux Pocux 2" in IRC Premier Cruising.
Having just hoisted the genoa, the boat went into a tack and Sallons was aware only of a loop of the lazy sheet coming towards him, before finding himself lifted off the deck by the neck and over the water. The crew promptly let off the working sheet and Sallons regained consciousness as he fell in the water. After a visit to A & E with Liedts in attendance, it was a relief to see Sallons back at Middle Island before the end of the afternoon with nothing worse than bruising around the neck, however the episode was a shock to the whole boat.
Elsewhere on the water, a case of mistaken identity led to Kinmonth/Burns' Farr-Mills 50 "Mandrake" Being called OCS on race 1, only for it to emerge that the guilty culprit was in fact an over-enthusiastic Neil PRYDE on "Hi Fidelity". Two protests later and "Mandrake" was given redress and a revised finish time gun and a that took her into second place ahead of chartered DK46 "Struan's Drumstick" on corrected time. Grant WHARINGTON'S super maxi "Skandia" claimed both the gun and first place on corrected time for race one, however race two was a different story with a navigational error by "Skandia" allowing Jelik to claim the gun and a second place on corrected time.
In IRC B, Frenchman Pierre le PAPE had a great start to the 2004 regatta with X99 "Getafix" recording two first places on corrected time - another X yacht, X382 "Relax", skippered by Jason Fedder, also had a solid start with two third places, but with another five races to go and one discard available the Regatta title is still wide open.
HKPN split off from the IRC boats early, spending the day on an islands course. After five hours, Ben Chong's Petersen 37, "Xanadu II", claimed the race on corrected time, ahead of seasoned campaigners Glenn Smith on "Bewitched" and John Blay on "Windseeker".
Provisional Results are available on the regatta website at the address below.