Tam Nguyen HKG 55 won the Hong Kong National Championships yesterday “by the skin of his teeth” from HKG 51 helmed by Karl Grebstadt…. It was a most thrilling final day sailed in perfect Dragon conditions, 12-16 kts of wind with a slightly choppy sea as a result of an endless trail of container ships entering the busy Hong Kong Harbour… The Dragon fleet waited patiently for each of their 3 starts as the Sports Boats followed by the J 80’s made their way off the line onto the outer course. HKG 55 managed to win the first two races after HKG 51 was called OCS in race 1, which was actually the 4th race of this exciting Championship. So after the points were added up, it all came down to the final race between Tam and Karl………
The 7th race got underway just after 1.30pm with a clean start as the line had been adjusted so there was no bias and all 17 boats got away on starboard tack against a building tide which also helped to keep the boats behind the line….. HKG 8 helmed by Simon Chan made the first break and rounded the top mark first closely followed by HKG 55 who had a close eye on HKG 51 in 3rd place.. On the 2nd upwind Tam and his team realised that if they could prevent Karl from finishing in the top 5 then they would take the titile on count back. So HKG 55 started to cover HKG 51 heavily allowing the rest of the fleet to catch up.
Simon Chan HKG 8 made the most of this and increased his lead but unfortunately a change of flag on the committee boat before the start not noticed by a few sailors meant an extra lap was required and Simon failed to complete the full course. This left Lowell Chang HKG 46 and his wife Phyllis HKG 50 to battle it out for line honers as the “Match Race” was still going on for the overall title. At the end of three rounds, Phyllis finally took the gun and HKG 51 was held back to 6th place giving the National Title to HKG 55 and delighted owner Tam Nguyen, helming his beautiful wooden decked Doomernik Dragon.
The winning team HKG 55 Tam and Joy Nguyen and some “Greek Fisherman”………. (photo by Guy Nowell).
Top three : HKG 55 Tam Nguyen, HKG 51 Karl Grebstadt and HKG 46 Lowell Chang.
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club can now boast an enthusiastic and ever growing fleet of Dragons who make the most of these suberb shorebased facilities and up to three different sailing areas. It is well worth a visit to this exciting part of the world which is proud of it’s low crime rate, energetic population and a town that never sleeps…………..
Higher, Faster, Longer……………. Stavros (HKG 55).