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Mariners take to the sea for offshore, inshore competitionA roundup of the 2011 Jeju-Jeonnam International Yacht Race
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승인 2011.10.28  11:18:53
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▲ Team Diva celebrates their first-place finish in the Jeju inshore race, Oct. 22. Photo by Angela Kim

Twenty-one yachts and over 100 sailors participated in the 2011 Jeju-Jeonnam International Yacht Race, held from Oct. 20 to Oct. 24 at Jeju Port, Jeju City.

The race is more like a party for sailors rather than a competitive sports event. During the opening ceremony on Oct. 22, after an inshore race, tanned sailors greeted one another, talked excitedly about the height of the waves, and exchanged sailing information.

The race is co-hosted by the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and South Jeolla Province to promote the exchange of marine leisure sports between Jeju and Jeolla. Provincial officials estimate there are around 1,000 yachting enthusiasts on Jeju, however this number could be tripled if other marine pursuits are counted.

During the event, 21 teams participated in three different races: two inshore races around Jeju and Mokpo, and an offshore race between Jeju and Jindo.

After a two-hour long Jeju inshore race, winning teams were awarded with prizes. For the Open class race, in which any group with a yacht can participate, Team Venus, Phoenix Island, and Express placed first, second, and third with prizes worth 800,000 won (US$ 700), 500,000 won ($440), and 300,000 won ($260), respectively.

For the race of professional teams registered by the Offshore Racing Council (ORC), Diva (first), No Applause (second), and Carrera (third) each won 1 million won ($880), 700,000 won ($615), and 500,000 won ($440).

Even though this is the second race to be co-hosted by the Jeju and South Jeolla provinces, this was the first time for participants to race in Jeju. During last year’s Jeonnam-Jeju International Yacht Race, it was planned to be held in both Mokpo and Jeju, however, the Jeju race was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Chris Hennessey, a member of team U2 from Busan and his second time to the island, told The Weekly that “Jeju is beautiful.” Though Team U2 finished fifth for the inshore race, not winning any awards, Hennessey remained cheerful.

“Other races are usually held in a sheltered hut [most yacht races are held inside of a breakwater], but this race isn’t. It’s harder but more fun. I enjoyed it very much.”

Some people think yachting is a luxury sport but Hennessey said, “It’s not as expensive as you think. You can buy a used yacht for cheaper than a car.”

To change people’s stereotypes about yachting, the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Sailing Federation has designed a free yachting event for the Jeju inshore race. However, due to a lack of promotion, not many locals were there to take advantage of the opportunity.

President of the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Sailing Federation Kwon Hyuk Sung said, “More teams registered this year [compared to the previous year]. More than 21 teams wanted to join the race, but due to the lack of size of the yacht marina, we couldn’t accept every team.” He added, “Due to the small size of the race, this race is not as competitive as other yacht races, for example, the Kyungnam Lee Soon Shin Race annually holds up to 90 yachts.”

According to Kwon, “In order for Jeju to be fully in the center of international tourism, marinas for marine sports are essential. More marinas will lead to more boats and yachts coming to Jeju, which will eventually lead to [increased] regional economic profit.”

He also emphasised youth education as part of promoting marine sports. He added, “Also, Jeju lacks training facilities for coaches and sailing staff. I hope the Jeju Provincial Office of Education promotes marine leisure sports by including yachting as an after school sport. In Busan, there are youth yacht teams.”

Beliaev Sergei, skipper of team Carrera, the third-placed team in ORC, sailed for five days from Vladivostok, Russia for this race. He was participating in this race for the second time.

“It is really nice of Jeju Sailing Federation to invite sailors from the Russia Sailing Federation,” he said. It is his first time to visit Jeju, but he said he had already fallen in love with the island. However, he said improvements in facilities were needed saying there was, “No water and electricity at the harbor for the yachts. If it is built, more races will be done.”

Oh Hyung Sam, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Sports Industry Division manager said, “There were hardships organizing this event due to lack of infrastructure. West Port is the best for yachts, yet fishermen complained that the port cannot be taken over for yachts for five days straight.”

According to Oh, it took a month to find a port, leaving less time to advertise the race.

He also emphasized the need to rear youth yachting teams.

“It is not official yet, but Jeju is trying to get a contract with a yacht building company to move to Jeju. There will be some sort of visible results by next year.” Everyone seems to agree on the fact that Jeju lacks marinas for yachts.

On the afternoon of Oct. 22, yachts left Jeju Port for the overnight offshore race from Jeju to Jindo.

The awards ceremony and closing ceremony were held on the last day of the race, Oct. 24, at Peace Square in Mokpo. For the Jeju-Jindo offshore race, there was the same result as the Jeju inshore race. Diva, No Applause, and Carrera each placed first, second, and third, respectively, for the ORC class. For the Open class, Express finished first followed by Phoenix Island and Venus.


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