Four Peaks, four times the fun

Action Asia - - EVENTS -

WITH THE ABERDEEN BOAT CLUB & Beneteau Four Peaks Race done and dusted for 2018, thoughts have al­ready turned to how to make it big­ger and bet­ter next time around. The race, an un­usual hy­brid of sail­ing and run­ning, has been a fix­ture of Hong Kong ad­ven­tur­ers’ cal­en­dars since its in­cep­tion in 1985. The aim is to sail be­tween four of Hong Kong’s most iconic moun­tains, choos­ing strate­gic points to off load a pair of run­ners so as to min­imise trans­fer and run­ning time without com­pro­mis­ing the boat’s abil­ity to catch the best of the ter­ri­tory’s shift­ing winds. It calls for fine judg­ment and lo­cal knowhow, as well as stamina and a spirit of ad­ven­ture from sail­ing and run­ning crew alike. Philippe Delorme, skip­per of Red Kite II, was one of many re­peat en­trants this year: “There is al­ways some­thing new and some new source of learn­ings ev­ery time,” he says. “This time, we made a mis­take at the drop-off for Vi­o­let Hill and paid it with one hour lost as we had two crew mem­bers tak­ing an un­de­sired bath at 10pm close to Chum Hom Kok. For­tu­nately, our run­ners kept go­ing and saved the party. “We will be back next year and try to learn from all this while keep­ing fo­cus on the most im­por­tant thing: to have FUN.” Ul­tra­ma­rathoner Kate Cheung was an­other re­turnee, hav­ing en­tered five times, hero­ically run­ning all four peaks each year! “Luck­ily I could man­age to fin­ish all four peaks ev­ery time in­clud­ing 2018. Thanks Tipsy Easy for giv­ing me the chance to run. 4PR is not a solo race but a team-work race which re­quires high team spirit along the trail and across the sea!” Four Peaks Race Chair­man is John Cur­rie. He had this to say about the ap­peal of the event: “One of the event’s draws is its scope, tak­ing in peaks lo­cated in quite dis­tinct ar­eas of Hong Kong – Lan­tau, Lamma, Hong Kong Is­land and Sai Kung in the eastern New Ter­ri­to­ries . “There are very few cities in the world where within a short pe­riod of time [from home or of­fice] you can sail and run, tak­ing in the wild splen­dour that Hong Kong’s coun­try parks have to of­fer. As for fu­ture plans: “Build­ing up in­ter­na­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion is part of our aim, while closer to home we are plan­ning for more lo­cal and China-based entries.” He men­tions the pos­i­tive ef­fect of greater me­dia cov­er­age – drone footage of the early stages of this year’s race taken by China Daily at­tracted 20,000 hits over three days. In the past, would-be en­trants with a boat strug­gled to find run­ners. Today though, with trail run­ning boom­ing in the ter­ri­tory, that is­sue has eased and Cur­rie men­tions how the boat club is happy to help match up yachts to run­ners via their web­site, www.ab­ – Steve White

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