Leg 1 of the Yellow Sea International Yacht Race 2012
15 August, 2012
The 2012 Yellow Sea International Yacht Race is hosted by Incheon in Korea. The event started with an extravagent opening ceremony where the fireworks drew everybody’s attention.
Early the following morning the crews prepared their boats for the many miles that awaited them in this the first offshore leg of the race. But first, they had to compete in an inshore race where the light winds proved challenging.
The boats from USA, China, Korea, Canada and Russia sailed in front of the bay of Incheon and did a windward/ leeward course. Team Irene started well and soon stretched out a clear distance from the rest of the fleet. Team Sunny followed but a mistake in the second upwind dropped her to fourth place, whereas Haemaru managed to climb from fifth to second.
The wind picked up after the inshore race. The stunning four-masted tall ship Koreana, was used as race committee boat, and gave the start for the first offshore leg of the regatta to Weihai in China. The three favourites, Team Sunny, Team Haemaru and Team Irene soon left the slower boats of the fleet behind and prepared for the long night ahead. Team Sunny has a strong sailing background after competing in the World Match Racing Tour.
The boats have 210 nautical miles to cover in rough seas and strong currents. Koreana will escort the fleet to Weihai in order to secure their safety.
The finish is expected on Monday and Weihai is ready to welcome the sailors with a big festival and prize-giving ceremony on Wednesday. The boats will then leave to Quingdao on Thursday for the 183 nautical mile second leg, and will conclude the race by returning to Incheon on the 21st of August.
This rough and demanding offshore sailing event of the Far East has just started. Ten days of sailing competition and celebrations are waiting the sailors from all around the world. Stay tuned to experience it.