by RHKYC Media
A late entry from supermaxi Chivas has pushed the entry list in the Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race to a record 17 boats hailing from all over the world. It has also set up one of the juiciest offshore contests for armchair enthusiasts in the 17 years since the inaugural race in 1996, with a ‘Clash of the Titans’ shaping up between Syd Fisher’s Ragamuffin 90, line honours winner of the 2012 Rolex China Sea Race (as Genuine Risk) and Ludde Ingval’s Simonis-Voogd 90, line honours winner (as Audi Ultra) of the 2011 edition of this 656nm race from Hong Kong to Nha Trang, Vietnam.
VinaCapital Vietnam Race 2011 -launched! AUDI ultra gets under way. Now racing as Chivas, and entered for this year’s Vietnam Race
In other words, a 90 footer which has excelled in tricky conditions with a highly tactical finish in Subic Bay is taking on a 90 footer which has raced this route before and has proved she has the downwind speed to break the record, having finished only an hour outside Skandia’s 42h 45m 41s, set in 2004.
It will be the first supermaxi head-to-head in Asian waters, set up by east coast (Ragamuffin 90) and west coast (Chivas) Australian-based boats. As Ingvall says, 'We loved the race last time. It is a great event, well-organised and run. The downwind sailing to Vietnam is exhilarating and fast. The reception in Nha Thrang is warm. What’s not to like?!'
In her former life as Nicorette III, Chivas also won line honours in the 2004 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race – quite some pedigree, however the Ragamuffin 90 team is fresh in town from west coast USA, where they claimed line honours victory in the renowned Transpac Race on Fisher’s Elliott 100, Ragamuffin. Both boats boast several noteworthy crew, with extensive experience of ocean racing.
In addition to fans being able to follow the boats via the twice-hourly Yellowbrick Tracker updates, RHKYC has partnered with the virtual navigation outfit, Sailonline.org who will use the real time Yellowbrick data from the 17 boat fleet to create a virtual race where enthusiasts worldwide can set up their own boat and see how their race tactics compare. One thing is certain, it will be a lot drier - and a lot less expensive on spinnaker repairs - to race to Vietnam from the living rooms!
Yellowbrick Tracking of the Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam race will be shown at www.rhkyc.org.hk/hkvyellowbrick.aspx
Sailonline can be found at at http://www.sailonline.org/