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

2:28 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

America's Cup Defender Oracle Team USA and Challenger, Artemis Racing lined up for a series of try-outs on San Francisco Bay. Videographer John Navas was shoreside with a new high resolution video camera and provided these videos of the training sessions and hook-ups. ... [more]  

The HPYD conference is jointly organised by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (NZ) and The University of Auckland and will be held at the Marine Event Centre in Auckland to coincide with the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. It attracts some of the world’s most preeminent yacht designers and is recognised as one of the top three conferences in this area internationally. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Ryan Houston is a watch captain aboard Team Alvimedica. He sailed in two previous editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – in 2008-09 aboard Delta Lloyd and 2011-12 on the incident plagued Volvo 70, Sanya. With the switch to the one design, ruggedly constructed Volvo 65 for this race many of the issues that bedevilled the competitors and organisers in the previous races appear to have been resolved. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
The Volvo Ocean Race and its forerunner, the Whitbread Round the World Race, used to be dominated by Kiwi crews. In the current edition, there are just three New Zealanders competing. Two of those are on Team Alvimedica, the US and Turkish flagged entry. ... [more]  

Rainbow II is one of the most iconic yachts in New Zealand sailing history. Built and skippered by Chris Bouzaid, her win in the One Ton Cup in 1969 was New Zealand’s first big international sailing win. Doyle Sails NZ was commissioned to build the new sails for the iconic Rainbow II with design work by Chris’ son Richard ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World’s NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell spoke with David Swete one of three New Zealand crew in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race Swete was reporting in from Team Alvimedica the US and Turkish flagged entry, currently lying in fourth place on leg 4 of the race from Sanya China to Auckand. ... [more]  

Oracle Team USA AC45 Turbo Feb 25 Training images provided by pressure-drop.us. Flat flood conditions and winds 12-18 and then picking up late in the day. Boat is matching the olars established with the AC 72's. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Emirates Team New Zealand has pushed the start button on their campaign for the 35th America's Cup, with a budget that has been reduced by an estimated 20% from the San Francisco campaign. The decision to relocate the Venue for the Match to the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has resulted in reduced attractiveness to sponsors, which in turn has led to cuts in the program ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Dongfeng has pulled another mile from Abu Dhabi, and MAPFRE looks like they have been making some good gains on the two leading boats. ... [more]  

AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style! by American Windsurfing Tour
Last night saw the Opening Party for the Goya Cabo Verde Pro contest here on the beautiful island of Sal. In attendance were some of the biggest names in windsurfing along with local watermen, business men and dignitaries. The true spirit of the American Windsurfing Tour came out in force which was both mirrored and complimented by the spirit of this island ... [more]  

With Cheminées Poujoulat making good progress up the Atlantic, making close to 18kts, 120 miles SW of the Falklands, Cape Horn marks the frontier between the two different worlds inhabited by skippers on the Barcelona World Race. ... [more]  

Emirates Team New Zealand has announced a team restructuring ahead on next week's expected announcement that the Qualifier for the 2017 America's Cup will be held in Auckland. The statement issued by the team early this afternoon, indicates the team has secured substantial funding and sponsorship for its 2017 campaign. ... [more]  

2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

CYC Midwinters Racing – 'Mid Winter racing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get' ~Forrest Gump~Skipper of SS Jenny ... [more]  

Laser Standard Men’s World Championships (June 29-July 8), the Laser Masters World Championships (July 10-18), and the Laser Radial Youth World Championships (August 14-20) are being hosted by the CORK. ... [more]  

Kaenon's Steve Rosenberg talks with Team SCA crew members Sally Barkow and Annie Lush before the start of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Both are former Olympic match racers, who have switched to ocean racing. Both are wearing the new prescription Kaenon sunglasses in the 40,000nm race around the world. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Overnight Ian Walker reported getting ahead of Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng only to have Mother Nature take it all back again, getting caught under a rain cloud in light winds ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Mythical, revered, renowned, legendary.....but above all Cape Horn is a time for extra care and caution. While observers and race fans may be poised to share and enjoy the passage of the race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat this Tuesday evening, Swiss co-skipper Bernard Stamm of race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat was clear that there will be little time for celebration ... [more]  

Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3 crossed the finish line in Antigua at 20:35:30 AST on Tuesday 24th February 2015 in an elapsed time of 1 day, 9 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat, which has lead the two handed round the world race for 39 days, has passed Cape Horn (67°15 11 W) at 01:00 UTC (02:00 Barcelona time, 22:00 Chilean time). ... [more]  

For the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 records are predicted to tumble, which has one of the most spectacular line ups of high performance boats racing anywhere in the world. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship - The Notice of Race for the 2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship has been released. Set to be held in Middelfart, Denmark from 8-12 July, the 2015 edition of the Women’s Match Race Worlds will welcome the world’s finest female match racers as they fight for the title. ... [more]  

Many exciting changes have been implemented this year for the 35th St.Maarten Heineken Regatta, and one of those will be the Saturday night party, which will take place on Kim Sha Beach in Simpson Bay. This evening promises to be a night filled with undeniable sex appeal and a line up that boasts not one but two powerful female performers. ... [more]  

RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America announce a joint effort to promote a new-age pathway for kids to find their passion for sailing. The goal is to provide a more formalized learning track parallel to what has been done traditionally, and excite youth sailors with modern sailing craft. ... [more]  

On day 2 of the RORC Caribbean 600 by dawn the vast majority of the 64-strong fleet were negotiating the chicane of islands to the northern end of the course, weaving through the stunning islands of Saba, St.Martin and St.Barths. However Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3, was literally miles ahead of the fleet. ... [more]  

Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin by Jeremy Leonard, Los Angeles
Ten of the best collegiate sailing teams from across country will descend on Los Angeles Yacht Club® March 13 through15 to test their sailing prowess as they battle it out for the prestigious Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup Trophy. This perpetual trophy was deeded to Los Angeles Yacht Club by Port of Los Angeles in 2008, to encourage, '…young men and women to enjoy benefits of competitive sailing.' ... [more]  

Airbnb may a popular 'peer-to-peer' lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options, too. Boatbound.com, Boatsetter.com and Cruzin.com are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. ... [more]  

2015 Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – The Notice of Race, the Olympic Test Event, has been published. The Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2015 is the second of two Rio 2016 Olympic Test Events with the first being held in 2014. Rio will welcome sailors once again from 13-22 August 2015 with racing taking place inside and outside of Guanabara Bay. ... [more]  

2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, listen to the replay below. Nic talks with: Scott Babbage, Iain Murray on 18fter and also the America's Cup, Seve Jarvin and many more ... [more]  

Kiwi sailor Ryan Houston has grown up on this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race as he took on the role as Watch Captain for Team Alvimedica. His career as a sailor is evolving as he gets more involved in the leadership and decision-making onboard Alvimedica. Learn about the ‘Day in the Life’ of a Watch Captain in the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

Latest predictions for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race are all indicating a finish time between 1000hrs and 1400hrs on Saturday February 28. For one of only three Kiwi crew members in the Volvo Ocean Race, Abu Dhabi's Daryl Wislang looks like being the first in the queue at the piecart, when the boats reach Auckland. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race – 'We've just gone through the worst night yet of this Volvo.' That’s Charles Caudrelier speaking, the skipper of Dongfeng Race Team. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Spooner fails in attempt to have Oracle AC45 arrested
2015 505 Midwinter Championship - Final race
Barcelona World Race – Renault Captur resume, Spirit of Hungary stuck
2015 ISAF Youth Sailing World – Emerging Nations Programme announced
Barcelona World Race - Spirit of Hungary to make surprise pit-stop
US Sailing Match Racing Committee launches The Dial Up Newsletter
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 7
Volvo Ocean Race – The Doldrums outside the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Winner expected in Auckland on Saturday
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Biggest challenges are around the corner
86th SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Day 2 overall
SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Farr 40 and Cal 25 class winners announced
Barcelona World Race - The Bountiful Horn Beckons for Stamm and Le Cam
Geelong boat Phoenix wins Sydney 38 National Title
JJ Giltinan 18 foot Skiff Championship 2015 images by Bruce Kerridge
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 restart from the Doldrums
Melges 24 U.S. Championship is enjoying early success
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Records set as rookie Kiwi crew second in Race 7
Around Antigua Island Race - Unofficial record
Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners honored
86th SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Day 1   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta crew forum - place to find crew or a ride   
J/24 Midwinter Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar hanging on by a claw   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Watch Race 7 here - Live and then in Replay!   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA goes out past the Golden Gate + Video   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 6   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Race 6 interviews with Hamlin, Thurlow and Yamaha   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA report on their new foiler   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Images from Race 6 by Christophe Favreau   
RORC Caribbean 600 - The young ones   
Malibu’s Evolution Pro Series to feature as one-third of WBW Series   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Gotta Love It 7 creates history as US wins Race 6   
Career Day comes on the heels of industry growth   
J/24 Midwinter Championship Day 1   
RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo 3 and Paradox fly into Antigua   
RORC Caribbean 600 provides a mixed bag of IRC delights   
Barcelona World Race - Closing fast   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Watch Race 6 here - Live and then in Replay!   
Tessanne Chin to illuminate the stage on Caribbean Jam night   
America's Cup: Parties given until today to file on AC45 arrest claim   


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