Young sailors rule the waves

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 12:00am

Sea School and French International School dominate Middle Island festival

The Hong Kong Sea School and the French International School dominated the Skandia Inter-school Sailing Festival held over the weekend.

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's (RHKYC) Middle Island clubhouse was packed with more than 110 sailing enthusiasts aged 12 to 18. They came from both local and international schools. Two days of great weather - with a strong breeze - gave the youngsters a chance to show their skills.

'The prediction that the event alternates between cold and grey one year, fine and sunny the next, came true,' said RHKYC coach Richard Knight.

The festival, organised by RHKYC, is now in its seventh year. A record 16 school teams took part in the event.

A new format was introduced this year to cope with the increased number of entries. The 16 teams raced against each other off Middle Island over the two days, using 24 Topaz and Feva dinghies.

There were 56 races altogether in the Topaz and Feva divisions, the two main events of the festival.

The Sea School won the Feva Division, while the French International School came out on top in the Topaz category.

'There was stiff competition among the schools,' Knight said. 'However, in the end, the Sea School and the Chairman's Invitation Team finished on top with six wins each. The tie was only broken by going back to the result of an earlier race when the two teams met.'

The Sea School won the Feva Division, thanks to their victory over the Chairman's Invitation Team in race 46.

In the Topaz division, the French International School had a perfect record of seven wins, while the Sea School and King George V School (KGV) had five wins each. The Sea School ended up second since they had beaten KGV in a race the previous day.

The Sea School also won the traditional Around Middle Island Race.

Besides the fierce competition on the water, Middle Island was filled with a festive atmosphere with plenty of food and good music on offer.

Looking forward to next year's race, Knight hoped the weather would be good.

'We hope the [alternate weather] theory doesn't come true so we can have as good a weekend as this year,' he said.