Regatta concludes, sailors hope for ‘better weather’

The Macao Cup International Regatta concluded yesterday, awarding teams from Germany, France and Philippines.

Held alongside the 2019 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Cup Regatta for four days from January 10, the first large international regatta hosted by Macau attracted 20 teams.

Kicking off the competition on Thursday, a parade was held where 10 Beneteau First 40.7 unified design group boats took part in a fleet parade, setting sail from the Fisherman’s Wharf to the Macao Tower.

In the international regatta, Team Subic Sailing/Turquoise from the Philippines carried the form from Saturday which moved them up to third place in the overall standings to win the first race of the day. As a result, the second race of the day became a shootout among Team WYC Lake Constance from Germany, Team Marenostrum Racing Club from France and Subic Sailing/Turquoise for the overall title. However, it was Team Estonia 100 that came out all guns blazing to claim the win in the final race of the regatta. WYC Lake Constance edged out Marenostrum Racing Club in this race to a fourth-place finish, which was enough for them to win the overall title with 19 points. Overall, the first runners-up were the French team and the second runners-up were Team Subic Sailing/Turquoise from the Philippines.

In the Greater Bay Area Cup Regatta, overnight leaders Team Wan Boo Fish Sailing from Macao won both races today to take overall title with eight points.

Some racers found it challenging to compete in the city’s recent weather due to low visibility and low wind speed. Yet many of them believed that the SAR could improve from this international competition.

“It was very competitive and it’s more exciting because we all had the same kind of boats. […] It’s a lot cooler here compared to other races that we’ve been to,” said Marcus Avecilla from Subic Sailing team.

“It’s a bit harder because of the visibility and it is also tricky because we had a day where the wind speed was really low so we had to adjust and work on other techniques,” he added.

During the first day of the competition, the wind speed dropped to around three or four knots and wind direction was unstable, which was not suitable for the IRC fleets to race, thus making it more challenging for the teams to compete.

The regatta raced in the waters south of Hac Sa Beach to Huangmao Island, and in the waters south of Hac Sa Beach on its third and fourth day.

Another competitor from France commented that Macau is a feasible place for such competition given the easy accessibility going to and from Guangdong and Shenzhen.

“We had bad luck in the weather but the venue is not bad. In the China Cup, we need to travel by bus [to go to different cities] but here it’s very easy. From that point of view, it’s great,” said Philippe Grelon who competed with Marenostrum Racing Club from France. 

Grelon added that although Macau has the potential to be a platform for these kinds of activities, he noted that the depth of the waters in the region would hinder bigger boats competing.

“You don’t have so much water. The depths of the water is a bit complicated so that’s one of the problems but why not?” said Grelone, who also participates in regatta races going to and from Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the team’s skipper said that Macau’s waters could only accommodate boats up to 40 feet to 45 feet. “Macau could have a lot of regatta events for sure. It could be done but the only thing is that nowadays there are different kinds of boats and many of them are big and [require] really deep waters. ” said chairman of the French club, Lionel Pean.

“We found a very good spirit racing in Asia. There were less regatta fights in the waters,” he added.

Meanwhile, another skipper from the Philippines commented that it is feasible for the city to host similar events, yet noted that organizers could work on doing that during months where there is high visibility and higher wind speed.

According to Jun Avecilla from Subic Sailing, the local competition is different from the ones the crew joined in Southeast Asia, citing weather conditions.

“I think January and February are good months for northeast winds. But of course, because of the winter season, it tends to be foggy, so that kills the wind,” he said.

“I think there is room for improvement but I think this competition is going to grow as the potential for racing in this part of the world is great,” Avecilla added.

Subic Sailing teamed up with a Japanese group named Turquoise, making them ten in the group.

“We had good teamwork and we were fortunate to actually win several daily races here,” said Avecilla.

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