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KTA Hongkong Half-Way Report

KTAThe KTA Hong Kong has seen a good entry again with 38 riders registering from 14 different country’s which included this time Egypt, the UK, Spain and Germany.

On the cards for the event are both national and international level competitions, with the final leg of the KTA Greater China freestyle and course racing championships alongside the continuing KTA tour disciplines.

The first day was unfortunately not destined to be blessed with wind, even with the full back-up of a traditional Chinese opening ceremony for good luck conducted by the events headline local sponsors, the KHKA. Still the blessings and offerings turn out not to be in vein as day two was to see an early start to meet the slightly chilly 25kt North winds that dropped into the bay from the Lantau mountains. Earlier forecasts for the week have been giving the event cross-shore Easterly winds at around the 20kt area, but with arrival of typhoon Nida out between the Philippines and Japan the outlook of stable conditions might well now be a bit hopeful.

So for the competition beach at Cheung Sha a North wind means off-shore and a tough day for riders and organisers alike. Still following a test start on the men’s freestyle it was soon obvious that the lack of wind on the inside near to the beach was going to make it a major mission for the riders, so the decision was taken to run the course racing instead as the wind was clean and stable on the outside.

So with the course set out to sea the men’s fleet of 24 riders gathered for the first start. Unfortunately as the first riders cleared the start line it was clear that there had been a mass false start and was recalled. The second start though was a good one with the main pack of the races taking off on a right side tack, with only a few heading out on the left side. Port tack was the call though as Hong Kong local, Cabrinha’s Mike Raper came through the first mark ahead of the fleet. Though at this point Mike caught a lull and Taner Kurt from Turkey blasted through towards the downwind mark, followed closely by the first round course race winner Yo from Thailand and the Philippines Douqe De la Santos.

Still Mike was not finished yet and once again showed the advantage of being on home turf as he again took a wide left hand run to slingshot back into the downwind mark taking the lead back for the crosswind leg. This he then held through to the finish line with Taner holding the second spot over Yo.

In the Greater China national event, again a closely fought race top honours being taken by Hoi Tin, Dennis Wong and Matthew Sprogg (Sprocket)

For the women’s course race all riders a clean start on the first green flag with the lead changing several times as they tacked to the upwind mark between Calra Delmoral from Spain, local rider Hill Siu, Japan’s Reiko Kimura and Kathrin Borgwardt from Germany. In the end it was to be Hill that took the mark first followed by Katherin, the fight was then on between the pair of them to the downwind mark with Carla and Rieko batting the next two spots. Hill again made the mark first and in the crosswind section pulled away from Kathrin to secure her first place position. Kathrin then crossed the line in second with Reiko taking a clean third place. The main battle was now between Carla and Aiyah who taken the downwind mark in front of Carla, but on the reach Carla hit the gas on her Ozone and pulled away from the half way stage to secure the 4th position.

Unfortunately that was to be the last race of the day as the early afternoon wind began to die, leaving many riders with a long hard upwind battle back to the beach. But all left the beach happy for following a final protest meeting for the judge, which was upheld in favour of Dennis Wong, giving him first place in the Greater China national event.

First Race Results

International Men

1.    Mike Raper  (NZ) (Cabrinha)
2.    Taner Kurt   (Turkey)
3.    Yo              (Thailand) (Ozone)

International Women

1.    Hill Siu                   (HK) (Naish)
2.    Kathrin Borgwardt    (Germany) (F1)
3.    Reiko kimura           (Japan) (JN)