Please select your home edition
Edition
Sail Excchange 728x90 New

Geoff Hill, Matt Humphries, and racing in Asia

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 28 Mar 2013
Antipodes, Matt Humphries on the wheel and Geoff Hill standing by - San Fernando Race 2013 © RHKYC/Guy Nowell http://www.guynowell.com/
The 2013 San Fernando Race started yesterday tomorrow, and the weather in Hong Kong was characteristically miserable. It’s the time of year, and it the oft-repeated reason why 24 crews are only too happy to head for the Philippines, a bit of warmth, and some ‘fun in the sun’ as the race has long been advertised.

Biggest boat in the fleet is Antipodes, Geoff Hill’s Santa Cruz 72. Hill has been very visible on the Asian circuit over a number of years, campaigning his Lyons 49 Strewth, and then a TP52 of the same name. Last year a buying trip to the US ended up with him acquiring not only the Dubois 90, Genuine Risk, but also Antipodes, and promptly cleaning up at Antigua Week with the latter.

Before the start, Hill was very much geared up for this, his third San Fernando Race. 'It’s a good race, just as good as the Rolex China Sea Race,' he says. 'And like the CSR, it’s going to be hard. With the scratch boat in the fleet, we know very well that we have to make our time out of Hong Kong while there’s breeze, so as to be in a usable position before we hit the lighter breezes and the familiar ‘Luzon lottery’ as we close the Philippines’ coast. It’s 'Yacht Racing 101' – maximum boatspeed in the right direction.'

Right beside him and working hard to find ‘the right direction’ will be Matt Humphries, a 20-year veteran of the global racing circuit, with five Whitbread/VORs to his name as well as a full deck of Fastnets, Hobarts, and all the other major ocean races. Humphries was on board Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin Loyal for the 2012 race to Hobart, sailed with Neil Pryde on board HiFi for this year’s Royal Langkawi International Regatta, and then joined Antipodes for the recent Subic-Boracay Series in the Philippines. 'Since then we’ve been working on optimising a few things, and we hope the attention is going to pay off. Big overlapping genoas carry a huge penalty, so among other things we’ve taken a long hard look at our sail inventory. We really need a good runway to stretch our legs, so were hoping for a good blow out of Hong Kong, and taking advantage of it as best we can.'

Hill shares a ‘core crew’ and boat management arrangement with well-known Australian sailor Syd Fischer, with the intention that the three boats owned between them (Ragamuffin Loyal, 100’; Genuine Risk, 90’; and Antipodes, 72’) benefit from seasonally differences in regattas and racing schedules. 'Our recent racing in the Philippines has allowed us to further develop and strengthen the core crew, and a number of the lads based in Australia are keen to be up in Asia as it’s pretty much 'off season' down there at the moment.'

Asked about racing in Asia as compared to elsewhere, Humphries said, 'a race is a race, never mind where it takes place. You have to approach them all the same way, whether it is the San Fernando of the Newport-Bermuda. Never be complacent, and always anticipate a challenge – you’re really competing against Mother Nature!' Hill adds, 'it's the start of the season for us. We're planning on the Koh Samui Regatta (May) and the China Coast (October), and maybe something in China. And most importantly the Hong Kong-Vietnam Race - that really is a world-class event, and we are expecting to have Genuine Risk up in Hong Kong for that as well as a couple of other big boats from Down Under - before we go south for the Raja Muda and the Phuket King's Cup. There's no shortage of racing in Asia, and a lot of it is first class. Good race management, good racing, good locations, and a good social scene! And the Vietnam Race is truly exceptional.'

At press time, Antipodes was leading the San Fernando fleet across the China Sea with 286 nm to go to the finish.

Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look BackWildwind 2016 660x82X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 2

Related Articles

Tour de France à la voile to celebrate its 40th edition in 2017
Eight classes have served on the TFV since 1978, always based on the same principle : one-design. French sailing legends like Eric Tabarly, Michel Desjoyeaux, Jean-Pierre Dick, and more recently Franck Cammas, François Gabart, Armel Le Cléac’h and Loïck Peyron have all played a role in the history of this race, that became one of the biggest summer sporting events.
Posted on 3 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Maserati Multi70 now 142 miles from Grenada
Phaedo3 sailed past the final waypoint at Grenada last night at 01.49 GMT to take multihull (MOCRA) line honours Phaedo3 sailed past the final waypoint at Grenada last night at 01.49 GMT (21.49 local time, 02.49 in Italy) to take multihull (MOCRA) line honours
Posted on 3 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 8 - Phaedo3 victorious in Grenada
Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 has taken Multihull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 has taken Multihull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race for the second year running. The American MOD70 completed the course in six days 13 hours 39 minutes and 55 seconds.
Posted on 3 Dec
Vendee Globe - Edmond de Rothschild makes up ground
For more than a week now, Sébastien Josse has been philosophically negotiating the weather systems For more than a week now, Sébastien Josse has been philosophically negotiating the weather systems, patiently accepting that his two closest adversaries were going to be able to steal a march on him thanks to the more favourable conditions at the head of the race.
Posted on 3 Dec
Vendée Globe – Leaders gybing along Antarctic exclusion zone + Video
The leaders in the eighth Vendée Globe are gybing along the edge of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone. The leaders in the eighth Vendée Globe are gybing along the edge of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone. Although they have only sailed 330 miles in 24h at an average speed of 13.9 knots for Alex Thomson and 13.4 knots for Armel Le Cléac’h, this has been one of the rare days when their foilers have not clocked up amazing distances. More live video from the Southern Ocean
Posted on 3 Dec
Melges 24 Worlds - Day 4 - Tricky conditions paid off for Bombarda
Trickier conditions with light breeze from 040° that filled in only in afternoon, forced Race Committee to raise AP flag The trickier conditions of today, with a light breeze from 040° that filled in only in the afternoon, forced the Race Committee to raise AP flag until 2.50pm, moment when the fleet was eventually given the preparatory signal and allowed to sail the first and only race of the day.
Posted on 3 Dec
Phaedo^3 finishes with line honours the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016
Phaedo^3 in the cover of dark finishes with line honours the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016 Phaedo^3 in the cover of dark finishes with line honours the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016 at 01 hours 49 minutes and 55 seconds on Saturday 3rd December 2016 to take Multihull Line Honours and provisionally win the Multihull Class.
Posted on 3 Dec
Young sailors have a blast racing offshore in WA
The 2016 Rockingham Race Weekend included a Youth Cup Series to promote keelboat offshore racing to young sailors. The 2016 Rockingham Race Weekend included a Youth Cup Series to promote keelboat offshore racing to young sailors. Now in its second year, the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club initiative attracted 26 young sailors aged 25 and under, an excellent response for offshore racing in Western Australia.
Posted on 2 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Maserati Multi70 now 660 miles from finish
The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans. The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans who will be exhausted after racing across the ocean at high speeds for such an extended period.
Posted on 2 Dec
Vendée Globe – Eliès in line for Southern Ocean bruising
Yann Eliès was doing all he could to slow his raceboat in a bid to reduce the impact of a violent Southern Ocean storm. French sailor Yann Eliès was today doing all he could to slow his 60ft raceboat in a bid to reduce the impact of a violent Southern Ocean storm heading straight for him.
Posted on 2 Dec