The China Coast Race Week begins this Friday 14 October with the three-day China Coast Regatta in ‘lumpy’ waters off the south of Hong Kong Island.
Line Honours and First Place winner on handicap in the 2008 VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race and the 2010 Rolex China Sea Race, so no surprise that HI FI has signed up for both the China Coast Regatta and the subsequent offshore race. 'We will be doing our very best to repeat our successes this year. We have a strong crew and the boat is well prepared so we will certainly be giving it our best shot.' says owner/skipper, Neil Pryde.
Pryde goes on to add, 'I have participated in China Coast Race Week almost every year the event has been held and this is no doubt one of the highlights of racing here in Asia. The wind conditions we get in Hong Kong in October are ideal and it is always great to kick off the Asian Circuit with a good result in Hong Kong because the competition is tough.'
The modified Welbourn 52 has not been in the water for some time, so the China Coast Regatta will be the first time back on the water for the boat and crew for four months 'so we need to be a little realistic in our expectations' adds Neil. That said, in preparation for this year’s racing, a number of important changes have been made to the boat which Pryde hopes will improve performance, including the addition of powered winches which will improve the speed and efficiency of sail trim and hopefully give HI FI an edge over the competition.
Sam Chan (and his revamped TP52, Freefire) has been singled out as Neil’s biggest challenge in this event. 'They are a tough competitor with a very fast boat. However, we have a strong crew and HI FI is a proven boat so we are optimistic we can meet this challenge.'
The China Coast Race Week comprises China Coast Regatta and the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. Neil hopes that once they have the China Coast Regatta out of the way, HI FI and her crew 'will be fully up to speed' and he is very optimistic that they can again do well.
Neil’s real highlight of the week is 'undoubtedly the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, one of the world’s classic ocean races. Every competitor looks forward to the thrills and excitement of riding the north-east monsoon out of Hong Kong to Nha Trang.'
Also on board is Kevin (Kos) Costin who has been involved in all of the HI FI campaigns since the boat was launched and who will be running tactics. Kos will have with him some very experienced international sailors including Bruce Clark and Nick Partridge, both ex-Americas Cup sailors and Willy Roberts, a much travelled navigator who guided HI FI to victory in the last Vietnam Race.
HI FI Crew