Sailing is a sport that is very close to my heart as my father has been a keen racer and sailor all of his life. It was inevitable that my childhood was going to be spent on beaches and boats, and when I was old enough to helm myself, that I would take up racing as well. My brother, Oscar, is also an accomplished offshore sailor and skiff racer, and the sea is a constant source of inspiration for Karen, so sailing really is a family obsession!
This year we decided to support the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Etchell fleet for their Ladies Helm race day. Etchells are a beautiful design of keel boat, but they are very heavy so traditionally you need a heavy (usually male) crew to man them. Women are most commonly found at the action-end of the boat as the bow-(wo)man, but for one day each year the roles are reversed and the class hosts a Ladies Helm race.
This was the first year that the event has been sponsored, and we were proud to get a great turnout, with 12 boats entered. There were two races, which took place in Victoria Harbour set against the backdrop of Hong Kong's city skyline. As is typical for Hong Kong in May the conditions were challenging, but as the boats lined up for race one a nice eight knot westerly was blowing across the racecourse and the sun was shining.
There was a prize giving on the main lawn after racing where the winners collected their Louella Odié prizes and winner's champagne, with plans already being hatched for next years event. Many thanks to the whole fleet for an excellent day on the water!
First place - Scotia Ryer (helm) Pam Shores, Mark Thornburrow and Mike Huang
Second place - Viv Peters (helm), Tina Atkinson, Mark Parker, Peter Austin