sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Rolex China Sea Race - Veterans steal the headlines
Rolex China Sea Race - Veterans steal the headlines

'Rolex China Sea Race 2014. Ragamuffin 90'    © RHKYC/Guy Nowell    Click Here to view large photo

In the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race, two yachtsmen seemingly in the twilight of their sailing careers stole the headlines and plaudits at a memorable edition of the event.

Syd Fischer, 87 years young, a veteran of 45 Rolex Sydney Hobarts, winner of the Rolex Fastnet in 1971 and five-time challenger of the America’s Cup, skippered Ragamuffin 90, the race’s largest and fastest boat to line honours. 74-year old Neil Pryde, a racing sailor for 60 years, guided his 52-ft Hi Fi to outright victory for the second time in four years, and with a victory back in 1988 became the first skipper to win the race on handicap three times.

The 27th Rolex China Sea Race welcomed 34 boats, the highest number since the turn of this century. 'We’re back to the numbers where the race was in yesteryear,' explained Joachim Isler, Commodore of organizers the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, 'the growth is due to the popularity of yachting, the support we get from Rolex and the fact that Rolex gives the race more interest to overseas competitors. This is the oldest and most meaningful offshore race in the region.'

Overseas entries totalled seven. Bryon Ehrhart’s TP52 Lucky from the United States was one of the participants expected to make an impact, Lucky having proved her offshore prowess by winning the 606-nm Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2010. In preparation for a stern offshore challenge, Ehrhart reinforced his crew with the inclusion of navigator Adrienne Cahalan, the most experienced female sailor in Rolex Sydney Hobart history, 22 appearances, and multiple line honours victories onboard the all-conquering 100-ft Maxi Wild Oats XI.

Cahalan was charting new waters. 'This is my first time doing the race and indeed sailing in Hong Kong, The Philippines or the South China Sea,' she revealed. 'I’ve sailed with the team before and there is a nice fleet of TP52s, so we’re looking forward to good close, racing.' The TP52 fleet also included Hong Kong entry Freefire and Standard Insurance Centennial, the latter skippered by Ernesto Echauz (overall winner in 1998 and 2008), the only entry from the arrival destination of The Philippines.

Completing the international entry list were boats representing Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom as well as the first ever crew entirely composed of sailors from mainland China, those onboard Seawolf.

Fischer’s Ragamuffin 90 led the race from start to finish, departing from Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong in decent but not dramatic breeze, on route to a 565-nm journey through the South China Sea to Subic Bay, The Philippines. Her lead on the water was never threatened nor though was the race record set by Karl Kwok on the Volvo 60 Beau Geste in 2000.

Ragamuffin played it relatively safe, staying close to the rhumb line. 'Tactically it wasn’t difficult. The race got a little bit frustrating especially at the end. It was very light, we only saw 18 knots in the last two hours on the approach to the harbour. Until then we never saw breeze over 10 knots,' explained David Witt, boat captain. Witt paid tribute to the crew’s extraordinary skipper. 'He’s amazing isn’t he? 87 years old and he’s sat on the rail all day. There are 22 year olds who could get a bit of inspiration from him.'

On arrival, a relaxed Fischer joked that ‘it was just another yacht race’. 'The modifications we’ve done on this boat helped a lot. Our boat speed was well above the wind speed and that’s good,' he explained after 57 hours and 31 minutes at sea. Fischer is not resting on his laurels, instead focusing on a mouth-watering 2015 campaign which will take in the Rolex Fastnet, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Middle Sea Race, all onboard his new Ragamuffin 100. Nobody would bet against him adding to his burgeoning list of triumphs.

Hong Kong resident Neil Pryde first competed in the Rolex China Sea Race in 1968, had won line honours twice and was the overall winner in 1988 and 2010. Like Fischer, his love for the sport has never diminished.

Along with the three TP52s and Geoff Hill’s 72-ft Antipodes, Hi Fi was tipped to challenge for the title. While Ragamuffin cruised to a straightforward line honours success, the battle for overall victory proved to be dramatic. Hi Fi, Lucky and Freefire barely left each other’s side throughout the race. 'Three 52-footers all going the same speed, all alongside each other all the way down. You don’t get yacht racing better than that,' enthused Pryde. 'It was one of the all time classics. I have done this race a lot but I don’t remember one as exciting or as close in the final result. It was exhausting, you could not relax one moment.'

Rolex China Sea Race 2014. HiFi.  © RHKYC-Guy Nowell   Click Here to view large photo

It proved to be the perfect race for a medium size boat. 'We had a period of about three or four hours outside the finish in Subic Bay when it went very light,' continued Pryde, 'but one of the great things about these 52-footers is that when the wind is down to three or four knots these boats still move and that is the difference really. All of the fleet had their park up but these 52s are amazing - they keep sailing at more than the wind speed.'

Charging into the mountainous, sun-kissed approach to The Philippines, Hi Fi and Lucky were practically match racing with spinnakers hoisted. It was a captivating sight. Every move, sail change, tactical decision was crucial. Lucky eventually finished two minutes ahead of Hi Fi but it was not enough; Pryde’s crew enjoyed a 17-minute margin on handicap. And with the chasing fleet becalmed, outright victory was soon confirmed.

'It ranks as one of the more memorable victories we’ve had and we’ve won a lot of races,' confirmed Pryde. 'It means a lot to me, over the past few years I’ve not done a lot of sailing because I’ve had some health issues so to go out and prove we can still do it is a big thing for me personally.'

Elsewhere, other crews revelled in simply finishing the race, none more than Seawolf who arrived in The Philippines to a rapturous reception from their sizeable Chinese following. 'You are out there, other yachts disappear and as you approach The Philippines it is always getting warmer,' explained Peter Forsythe owner of 55-ft Xena, 'there are times when it’s like magic.' A sentiment shared by those who completed the journey in 2014.

For more detailed information about the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race please visit the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club website.


by KPMS


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=121457

3:28 PM Thu 24 Apr 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

2014 12 Metre North American Championships - Two days of a northerly (first strong, then light) and one day of a building southwesterly put six 12 Metre yachts to the test at their North American Championships, which were held off Newport, R.I. over September 26-28. Gunther Buerman’s (Newport, R.I.) KZ-3 and Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla.) Victory ’83 defended their titles ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the French Riveria , and provided this gallery of images of the classics and other yachts racing ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne - Don’t forget to enter the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne. There are only two days left to take advantage of the discounted entry price offer. ... [more]  

After Gmunden, Austria, in 2011 and Cala de' Medici, Italy, in 2012 and after a pained second place, same points with the Portogues 'Credite Egs' in Portosin, Spain, last year, the Italian crew coming from Puglia 'Euz II Monella Vagabonda', with Sandro Montefusco at the helm and his brother Paolo as a tactician, confirms for the third time the Platu 25 World Championship title. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was on deck for the first day of competition at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on site for day one of racing at the 2014 Les Voiles de Saint Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

The final day of the 2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship ended up being a half day of sailing due to a complete shutdown of the wind. However, the fleet completed enough races to count Gold Round Robin 3 and crown Ladies and Gentlemen as the back-to-back Team Racing Champions. ... [more]  

Michigan, the Great Lakes State, was a fitting location as The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) gathered for the fourth time in the organization’s history to fulfill its mission to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published guidelines for candidates bidding to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. Bids to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds must be received by Friday 24 October 2014. ... [more]  

The onboard medic-sailors competing in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race have completed their last medical training. More than a basic first aid refresher course, the mandatory medical training each Volvo Ocean Race team had to carry out in the last few months and days are key to survival while at sea. ... [more]  

Erik Simonson was on the water at 2014 Melges 20 Pacific Coast Championship to capture these images. ... [more]  

2014 J/105 North American Championship - Light air ruled the J/105 North American Championship hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada—and so did Rod Wilmer and Terry McLaughlin on Mandate. ... [more]  

The Extreme Sailing Series event in Istanbul seems to have only just finished, but already the containers are in the Ville de Nice set to gear up for this weeks penultimate regatta. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are back onboard this week, fresh from their 49er World Championship win and looking to make it two wins from two events for Emirates Team New Zealand on the ?Extreme Sailing Series ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - In Sunday’s final matches in the Buddy Melges Challenge, Stephanie Roble and Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen showed the crowds on the bluffs of Lake Michigan how top class match racing should be sailed. It took five absolutely thrilling matches for the Danish crew to secure their first WIM Series event victory since last summer’s Danish Open. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's AC72 takes to the streets by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Oracle Team USA's winning AC72 takes to the streets of San Francisco, one year on from the Team's successful Defence of the America's Cup. This week the AC72 catamaran Oracle Team USA raced to victory is going to be a special guest at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Matches between the world’s top two match racing skippers are always aggressive affairs on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). In the pre-start of the first match, Canfield stuck two penalties on Williams, leaving the British boat playing catch-up. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

What a great day for kiting at Kite Foil Gold Cup Australia 2014! 10-15 knot North Easterly and slight seas. Kites zooming around like supersonic mosquitoes but mosquitoes buzz whereas foiling kites are completely silent! ... [more]  

At the time that we are writing this, it is almost exactly a week since the first race took place at Wakatere Boating Club in New Zealand, followed by hundreds of races across the globe that we have been told attracted record numbers of sailors to your clubs ... [more]  

2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - It was a picturesque day on Marblehead Harbor with plenty of sunshine for the second day of the U.S. Team Racing Championship. Once again, a lack of consistent breeze made for a challenging day for the Race Committee, umpires and competitors. Nevertheless, PRO Susie Schneider and her team were able to complete Round Robin One ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Saturday’s racing in the Buddy Melges Challenge on Lake Michigan, USA, saw more breeze than ever before during the week. Stephanie Roble used her local knowledge to show a clean sheet for the day, going in to Sunday’s conclusion with a one – zero lead over Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen in the final, sailed as a best of five match series. ... [more]  

2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - A balanced field and limited racing usually leads to close races and a crowded leaderboard. This was the situation on Eagle Mountain Lake for the last day at the U.S. Adult Championship, hosted by Fort Worth Boat Club. ... [more]  

2014 J/105 North American Championship - Five races are now in the books, and just three points separate the top three teams at the J/105 North American Championship hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at the 36th edition of the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai, and provided this gallery of images of the classics racing off Cannes. ... [more]  

Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai: Cannes at its best by Eugenia Bakunova, www.mainsail.ru
The 36th edition of the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai drew to a close on Saturday. Photographer Eugenia Bakunova was on the water at the 36th edition of the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai, and provided this second gallery of images of the classics racing off Cannes. ... [more]  

David Gilmour was the only skipper to keep a clean sheet in today’s light-air action at the Dutch Match Cup in Lelystad. Team Gilmour swept aside their fellow Western Australians in a 3-0 Quarter Final against Keith Swinton and Team Alpari FX. The young Aussies then took the first match of their Semi-Final against the reigning ISAF World Champions, Taylor Canfield and US One. ... [more]  

Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew responded to a challenging qualifying session on Friday in Lelystad, to win a tense quarter-final against Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing), 3-2 and book a fifth consecutive semi-final in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour at the Dutch Match Cup. ... [more]  

The 44th Hobie 16 North American championships concluded on Friday with Jason Hess and Irene Abascal from Club Los Sauces, Guatemala taking the title. Mark and Grace Modderman from Long Branch, New Jersey followed in seond place and Pedro Colon and Monica Cabrera from Puerto Rico in third winning the tie break over Dan Borg and Liana Giovana from Canada. ... [more]  

The seven One Design VOR 65s were built by a consortium led by Green Marine in the UK. The first of those for the Team SCA women wad delivered in October 2013, the last was supplied to Team Vestas Wind in August 2014. ... [more]  

Over the last year we have interviewed Knut Frostad, the CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race four times, at times the stress has shown but yesterday just eleven days before the start of the 2014-2015 Race, he was like a different person, when we met with him again, at Volvo Ocean race headquarters portside in Alicante ... [more]  

NBC Sports Network, which was critically acclaimed for its 2013 coverage of the 34th America’s Cup, has signed on to provide full broadcast coverage in the U.S. of the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier offshore sailing race. Outside Television will also air complete TV programming – in addition to full digital coverage – of the nine-month long race from October 2014-June 20 ... [more]  

2014 J/24 World Championship - With just a few points between Will Welles Cougar (USA) and Mauricio Santa Cruz Bruschetta (BRA) there was no room for error in the final two races of the 2014 J/24 World Championship hosted by Sail Newport. ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Friday’s racing offered even less breeze than the previous days of the Buddy Melges Challenge. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen won all her four matches of the day, to win the round-robin stage and secure her slot in the semi finals. ... [more]  

2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 3
2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Day 1 + Video
America's Cup: Then and now - Coutts on why Oracle won, and the Venue
Byte CII World Sailing Championship comes to Royal Varuna, Thailand
Dutch Match Cup: Canfield wins Qualifying, six set for Quarters battle
12 Metre North Americans - A blast from the America’s Cup past
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup qualification system published
Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre named as Spanish team sponsor + Video
Extreme Sailing Series returns to Nice for the penultimate Act of 2014
ISAF invites bids for 2016 Women's Match Racing World Championship
2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne - Teaming up
Mascalzone Latino Jr. named 2014 Melges 20 European Ranking Champion
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Le Berre keeps winning in Sheboygan
Hobie 16 Open North American Champ and Pan Am Games Qualifier - Day 4
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 2
J/105 North Americans - Wilmer and McLaughlin master light conditions
J/24 World Championship - Will Welles hangs on going into last day
Open 2.4mR World Championship on the horizon
Bart's Bash - Top photographers gain special entry
Platu 25 Worlds - EUZ II Monella Vagabonda is still leading in France
St. Barth Cata Cup - Olympic duel on the island   
Dutch Match Cup - High winds and big wipeouts in Lelystad   
Route du Rhum - Yann Guichard to sail Spindrift 2 solo   
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image - Best sailing photo of the year sought   
Volvo Ocean Race - Yann Riou, getting you up close and personal   
Marseille One Design concludes GC32 racing season + Video   
World Yacht Racing Forum - Seventh edition to take place in Barcelona   
Record number of entries for the Sailing Champions League   
Platu 25 World Championship - Euz II Monella Vagabonda still leading   
Rolex Middle Sea Race Record - A possibility for Esimit Europa 2   
Richmond Yacht Club's International 14 Nationals: Return of 14 footers   
Buddy Melges Challenge - Le Berre leading, undefeated, in Sheboygan   
2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles holds advantage   
Etchells Lobster Bowl Regatta - Rob Hitchcock overall winner   
US Wabbit Nationals at Richmond YC   
YCs of Long Beach Charity Regatta - Local area sailors turn out   
U.S. Team Racing Championship to serve as Qualifier for ISAF Worlds   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Champions confirm Abu Dhabi attendance   
Dutch Match Cup - Top three keep perfect score   
Second Star Sailors League grand finale to take place in Nassau   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT