by Di Pearson
Syd Fischer and his crew on the super maxi Ragamuffin 90 were blessed with the record breaking conditions forecast for the Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race and today are ahead of record pace after starting off Hong Kong yesterday at 13:30 hours local time.
Ragamuffin team with Sean Kirkjian steering and crew members Scott Francis and Kieran Cowan
Since the start, the 90 foot Dubois design has been in surfing mode. Since this morning it has been speeding off China at 15-22 knots, but has reached speeds in excess of 20 knots during the race.
At 9.30am local time (12.30pm Sydney time), Team Ragamuffin had covered 343 nautical miles of the 656 nautical mile course. It was just short of North Reef (Paracel Island), one of the marks of the course, having passed the Chinese province of Hainan and sailing in 20-23 knots of wind.
Team Ragamuffin has to finish the 656 nautical mile race by 7.18am this Saturday morning local time to beat the 42 hour 45min 41sec record set by fellow Australian, Grant Wharington and his 98 foot Skandia in 2004.
Fischer’s yacht has led the race since the start and has put a 35 plus nautical mile gap between his yacht and its three nearest rivals.
While Fischer concentrates on breaking the race record, he will be honoured at the Australian Yachting Awards this evening. He will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his considerable achievements in yachting, from a record America’s Cup campaigns, to captaining and winning the international Admiral’s and Clipper/Kenwood Cups to winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall and taking line honours in the same.
Follow Ragamuffin's progress via the Vietnam Hong Kong Race tracker
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