Royal Hong Kong YC

September-October 2012, Hong Kong
Robert Lamb visited the RHKYC for the first of three periods of training.

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is a fantastic institution with approximately 16,000 members, three club houses and a turn over in the region of £10M.  The main clubhouse is at the northern aspect of Hong Kong Island bordering the harbour.  The other two are in idyllic locations - one on Middle Island and the other in the New Territories. 

The setup on Hong Kong is very unusual with paid marine staff delivering the race management with club members appointed over them by rota.  Only 1 or 2 members are present on the race course and their primary role is to act as the interface between the race management and the sailors.  The result is that the member race officers are inexperienced, reluctant and sometimes abused by the competitors, so not a popular role.  To make matters worse the Class Captains have a massive amount of influence over the day's racing, to such an extent that the cynical may accuse them of manipulating the racing for their own personal benefit.  


Transport to work each day

The office staff have a lot to do with racing in 3 separate areas each and every weekend in addition to 6 or so major fleet regattas each year.  There are also several high profile offshore events to manage as well, a task that is low on requirement of resource during the race itself, but high in the preparation phase. 

So there was a lot to do for Robert Lamb visiting the RHKYC for the first of three visits.  The organisation and current practice had to be understood before delivering seminars to the marine staff and members.  The sailing instructions were reviewed.


The Noonday Gun

One Club Race Officer Course, two level 1 seminars and one level 2 seminar were delivered to a total of  41 individuals.  A strategy was proposed outlining a way forward and this included further training on the water, mark laying instruction and the development of a race management committee.  The latter would be responsible for all aspects of race management including re-writing the sailing instructions to comply with best practice.


Hong Kong Harbour from the clubhouse

Almost without exception the members are intelligent across the board and the place has a real buz about it.  The potential for the development of a great race manageement team is huge if the resources open to them are utilised efficiently.  Charlie Manzoni is an enthusuastic leader of the project that will, I'm sure, see a revolution in current race management to become best practice over the next few years.

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club wisely recognises that race management has moved on over the past few years.  They are keen to ensure that they are in a position to deliver best practice.  

Robert Lamb of SolentXtra, an ISAF and RYA Race Management Instructor, has been asked to spend time at the club to assess current procedures and practice, teach members race management at its best and put in place an in-house system for training of race officers and mark layers.

Rob leaves for Hong Kong on September 17th to return after 3 weeks on 9th October.

© SolentXtra 2012