Phoenix Cup 2011 - a 'first' for sailing in China

Phoenix Cup 2011. Roger Eastham, RHKYC Marine Services Manager (left) and Rear Commodore Russ Parker make the draw for sponsors’ spinnakers.
One day in the future it may seem like a turning point – the first ‘local’ regatta to be televised live in China. So we’re not talking about the Olympics here, or even one of the fly-by-night pro events – Volvo, Clipper, Extreme 40s, whatever – but reg’lar ole sailors, in J/80s, in Hong Kong harbour. Sort of, a Club event all grown up.

The event is sponsored by - and will be broadcast by - Phoenix TV. Apart from CCTV, Phoenix is the biggest broadcaster in China, and that makes them pretty huge. The Phoenix Cup is a fleet racing event to be sailed in J/80s, based out of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, and with race management provided by RHKYC. That guarantees good organisation – all that’s needed to make the event shine is a bit of sun (which looks to be in rather short supply at the moment).

Yesterday afternoon RHKYC Marine Services Manager Roger Eastham and Rear Commodore Russ Parker drew the boat names and teamed them up with sponsors’ spinnakers. (Heck, in this part of the world a Lucky Draw is practically mandatory!). There will be practice races just off the RHKYC after 1200h today, with the main event sometime after 1600h, and under the watchful eye of Hong Kong’s former Chief Executive, Tung Chee Hwa.

More later. Watch this space, and hope the rain stops!