This Offshore Category 1 race from Hong Kong to Sanya, Hainan Island was first contested in 1997 and was a biennial alternative to the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race until 2009, when logistical issues made the race unviable.
The Club is grateful to the Chinese Yachting Association, Sanya Cultural and Sports Bureau and also Serenity Marina, Sanya, for helping orchestrate the revival of this wonderful 360nm downhill race. Twelve boats will set off from Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour at 1220hrs on Thursday. The conditions being bandied around by those with access to weather services are 15 to 20kts of north / north east breeze – just perfect for this race.
The race record of 29h 25m 08s is held by Sam Chan’s Ffree Fire, a 71’ ULDB sled, and Chan will be chasing his own record on teh latest 'edition' Free Fire, a TP52, as well as looking for a first on corrected time to add to his perfect score at the St. Regis International China Coast Regatta.
Competition for Line Honours will be fierce though, with Geoff Hill campaigning Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes and Stephen Tan and Ernesto Echauz looking for Philippine glory on Jelik V, another TP52. The competition for IRC Overall will be equally gripping, with Jonathan 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.
EFG Bank Mandrake will also be hoping to add to her first in division at the St. Regis China Coast Regatta with a win in Racing Division 1. However 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.
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.
by Lindsay Lyons
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2:38 PM Wed 17 Oct 2012GMT
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