Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

RHKYC Hainan Race starts in good breeze

by Sail-World Asia and RHKYC Media on 19 Oct 2012
RHKYC Hainan Race 2012 - Club Line start, EFG Bank Mandrake, Red Kite II © RHKYC/Guy Nowell http://www.guynowell.com/
The China Coast Regatta is over now, and today boats and crews set off on the second part of China Coast Raceweek 2012 – the Cat 1 360nm offshore race from Hong Kong to Sanya, Hainan Island.

First contested in 1997, the Hainan Race was a biennial alternative to the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race - until 2009, when logistical issues proved insurmountable and the event was slipped into the ‘too hard’ basket and mothballed. But you never quite know how the bureaucratic dice are going to fall in China, and now the RHKYC along with local organisational partners in Hainan is delighted to have the Dash to the End of the World back on the calendar. [‘The End of the World’ is the last headland before the finish line off the Serenity Marina at Sanya, in case you didn’t know].

Twelve boats lined up today to start in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour at 1220hrs for one of the best distance-race starts that we have seen from the RHKYC Club Line – grey and gloomy to be sure, but with 10-12kts of breeze to send the fleet on its way under the looming gaze of the skyscrapers of Central and Causeway Bay.



The race record of 29h 25m 08s is held by Sam Chan’s Ffree Fire, a 71’ ULDB sled that set the record in 2005. This time Chan is competing in his latest edition Free Fire, a TP52. Although they were last of the racing fleet over the line, they were second through Lei Yue Mun Gap out of the harbor, snaping at the heels of another TP52, Jelik 5, a Philippines entry skippered by Judes Echauz and crewed by young dinghy sailors from the Philippine Sailing Association. It was all ‘good breeze’ up the harbour, with a few shifts to make it interesting and a strong outgoing tide to send the boats on their way. Geoff Hill’s venerable and substantially-modified Santa Cruz 72, Antipodes, rolled through the gap in third place. Antipodes has on board Larry Jamieson, veteran on no less than 27 Hobart Races, who enjoys the distinction of having won that event under IOR, IMS and IRC.

Before the race Judes Ecauz said, 'We wanted to come up to do China Coast Raceweek because we have never done this series before. We have competed in several China Sea Races, but I really like the opportunity to do the inshore series before heading offshore. And the destination is Hainan, and we’ve not been there before, so it has to be done.'



'We particularly enjoyed the China Coast Regatta - it was well organised, and you are racing in such a competitive and high quality fleet. We sail in other Asian regattas, but Hong Kong’s exceptionally strong racing community makes for a much more exciting sailing environment, the likes of which are just not found outside Hong Kong, and the boats that make up the fleet are the top of the range… where else in Asia do you find such an outstanding and competitive fleet?'

Echauz believes that his dinghy sailors have a good chance of winning the Hainan Race – 'we are exceptionally well prepared this year, we have a complete new suit of sails and asymmetrics so hopefully we will be ready for any of the wind conditions that we meet.' Jelik 5 will be chasing Free Fire’s ‘perfect score’ from the China Coast Regatta – tough call – but will be treating the long race as a stand-alone. Yes we need more practice round the cans, but 360nm in (almost) a straight line is more about concentration and making the big calls. We are ready.'

The competition for IRC Overall will be equally gripping, with Jonno Mahony’s Zanzibar, IRC Overall winner of the Rolex China Sea Race 2012 up against Anthony Root’s Red Kite II, IRC Overall winner of the San Fernando Race 2011 and Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake, who came a very close divisional second to Zanzibar in the 2011 VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. Mahoney was very understated when asked why a Singapore boat was – once again – gracing a Hong Kong start line. 'We don’t go so well round the corners, and there aren’t so many corners on the way to Hainan as there are in a windward/leeward race. Besides, we’ve never been there, and it’s time to go and have a look.'



EFG Bank Mandrake will also be hoping to add to her first in division at the St. Regis International China Coast Regatta with a win in Racing Division 1, but Ambush, Sell Side Dream, Wicked and Avant Garde will also be looking for glory in the 40-footer division and will not be making it easy for the Burns/Kinmonth partnership. On board Sell Side Dream, Will Oxley has been to Sanya before – with Camper in the last Volvo Race. 'I know where we are going, but I hope it won’t be as a tough a ride as the one we had coming away from Hainan last time.' (Relax, Will, it’s downhill this time).

X-55 Xena could also prove dangerous in the overall standings, although as the only Premier Cruiser she is guaranteed first in division, as is Koon Woon, the lone HKPN representative. All boats will be tracked using the proven Yellowbrick tracking system, with the first boats expected to arrive early Saturday morning, and the tail end to finish on Sunday.

Did you know? Hong Kong starts don’t happen at 1200hrs to avoid – just in case – any confusion from the nearby Noonday Gun, still fired at 1200hrs every day.

At the 1800hrs radio sched, based on the last hour’s progress, Yellowbrick tracking was showing Free Fire leading on the water having hauled past Jelik 5, and on course to finish at around 1400hrs tomorrow. While technically, as this is the first time the Hainan Race has started in the harbour, whoever wins line honours sets a new record, it would surely be sweet for Sam Chan and the boys to break their own 2005 record of 29h 35m 08s.

The meteo witch doctors are calling force 5 to 6 overnight. One casualty so far – CY Seah’s A40 Avant Garde retired some miles south of Lamma Island on account of a nasty spinnaker wrap, but all souls on board are safe and well and heading to back to check in with HK Immigration.

More tomorrow.











NaiadBakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted today at 4:28 pm
Vendée Globe – Sébastien Destremau – Simplicity as a credo + Video
A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet. His credo is to keep it simple, inexpensive and effective. Interview with the skipper of faceOcean, winner of the Calero Solo Transat back in the spring.
Posted today at 4:05 pm
The Vendée Globe – 100 days and counting
With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst ‘just’ twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we’re set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
Posted today at 3:46 pm
Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
Edgartown Race Week - Overall report
Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. Four races were held today, in nine - twelve knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet. The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.
Posted today at 6:35 am
Conch Republic Cup - More than just a race to Cuba
When relations between U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a 13-year hiatus. When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus.
Posted today at 6:02 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Lone bullets for the Brits
Despite three more inshore races being held on day five France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Despite three more inshore races being held on day five of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews, France Blue leads with a similar 11.5 point margin to yesterday, but Flanders North Sea is now the team that has relieved France White of second place overall.
Posted today at 2:10 am
Supermaxi Scallywag has her first outing on Sydney Harbour
Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Scallywag is a 100' Super Maxi Yacht (ex Ragamuffin 100) owned by a HongKong Business man. Yesterday the boat took it first sail on Sydney Harbour in preparation for this weekend's start of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race
Posted on 28 Jul
Extreme Sailing Series– Oman Air sneak early lead despite bump on nose
Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today Hamburg’s River Elbe in the HafenCity area was transformed into the ultimate test in Stadium Racing today, with the narrow river, passing traffic, high walls, shifty light winds and strong currents challenging the fleet on the opening day
Posted on 28 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing top of the pops
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the season after sailing to their fourth win today. The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec– favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling
Posted on 28 Jul