Island race to change course
By UNUS ALLADIN
THE immensely popular Round the Island Race - the biggest sailing event in Hong Kong in terms of the number of starters taking part - will take on a new course this year.
Reclamation work on the north of the Island including tunnel work for the Chek Lap Kok Airport has forced the November 13 race to take a new route, but organisers are nonetheless confident that this year's race will be among the best to date.
It is expected that the race will resume its traditional course in 1996 once the construction work is completed.
The Heineken-sponsored race will start at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and will take competitors around Castle Rock and Beaufort Island on the outgoing tide and return through Tathong Channel and Lei Yue Mun to finish at Kellet Island - a total of 47 kilometres.
The event attracts a wide range of competitors of all ages and walks of life.
The craft also vary greatly, with Etchells, Dragons, Flying Fifteens, Ls, Pandoras, Impalas, Ruffians, Sonatas, 470s, Multihulls, Cruisers and a brand new craft for Hong Kong, the B14s, all taking to the waves.
Windsurfers will also participate in the event and organisers are expecting about 200 starters.
With such a wide variety of boats competing - in terms of length, hull size, sail size - the RHKYC race committee will assign each entrant a handicap as the Portsmouth Yardstick Number (PYN) and the race will be started in groups of between 12 and 15 according to the PYN.
At the end of the race, the time each boat has taken to finish (elapsed time) will be entered into a computer together with its PYN.
The winner will be the fastest boat on corrected time.
Prizes will be awarded to each class of boat.
The most prestigious of all are the Heineken Trophy and the Multihull trophies which will be presented to the overall monohull and multihull winners respectively.
Also, the first woman at the helm will be awarded the Lady Godiva Trophy.