BNP Paribas Match Racing International Regatta, 11-13 May

BNP Pariibas Match Racing, Hong Kong Nationals 2012
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club will host seven international Match Racing teams at this weekend’s BNP Paribas Match Racing International Regatta, an ISAF Grade 3 event. The distinguished umpiring panel includes Chief Umpire, Marianne Middelthon from Norway, fresh from running an ISAF Match Racing Umpires clinic in Hong Kong, together with International Umpire Masaaki Tanaka from Japan, and RHKYC stalwart and International Judge, Tom Sheppard.

It's been a while since Hong Kong hosted an international match racing event, and this development is very positive, coming hot on the heels of the announcement of the Malaysian Match Racing Circuit. Match racing is a discipline highly suited to Asian competitors, requiring brain rather than brawn. While some of this event's participants are based in Hong Kong, representatives from Thailand, Russia and Japan are flying in from overseas to generate what is sure to be some fierce competition.

The visitors will get to grips with the idiosyncrasies of Victoria Harbour during Friday’s practice race day, which will consist of a Grade 5 double-round robin competition, while the main event will kick off with a round robin on Saturday. The leading skippers will then select their opponents going into the semi finals on Sunday and the winners of those ‘best-of-three’ matches will then immediately face off in the finals, which will give the skippers five races to claim the title of Champion.

Currently ranked 51 on the ISAF Match Racing Rankings, Vladimir Lipavsky of Russia is the top ranked skipper in the competition, with Morten Jackobsen, representing Thailand, on 141, however Laurence Mead, Marty Kaye and runner up in the recent Hong Kong Championships, Peter Backe, will be looking to capitalise on 'harbour knowledge' gleaned from years of racing.

Entry List is as follows;

Peter Backe (Sweden)
Ridgely Balladares (Philippines)
Morten Jackobsen (Thailand)
Marty Kaye (Hong Kong)
Vladimir Lipavsky (Russia)
Laurence Mead (Great Britain)
Tim Somerville (Australia)
Toshio Toya (Japan)

To give a flavour of this event, a short promotional video has been posted at http://bit.ly/JBmlKx

BNP Pariibas Match Racing, Hong Kong Nationals 2012