Mills 41 ‘Ambush’ co-owner, Joachim Isler, isn’t one to beat around the bush when it comes to the China Coast Regatta kicking off this Friday... 'It is one of the best regattas I have sailed in and, without question, the best one in the region.'
The three-day China Coast Regatta (14-16 October), together with the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race which starts on 19 October comprises RHKYC’s China Coast Race Week.The Regatta has attracted 35 entries across four divisions; IRC Racing, Classic/Cruising Class, Premier Cruising Class and HKPN Class.
Winner of IRC Racing 1 Division in 2009, Ambush recorded an impressive ‘picket fence’ of seven firsts for the series, while in 2008, they dropped only one race in their pursuit of the title. That year also saw her finish the VinaCapital Hong Kong-Vietnam Race as first in IRC Racing Division 1, and the only one of five boats in her division to complete the race to Nha Trang. Closer to home, in the calmer waters of Victoria Harbour, the ‘Boys from the ‘Bush’ have an impressive track record in IRC racing, sweeping the board in RHKYC’s 2011 Spring and Autumn Regattas.
Earlier this year, Ambush changed from a ‘prodder A-sail’ set up to ‘pole with symmetric,’ and Isler is hoping that this change will be 'the right recipe to beat the other Mills in the Regatta'. That other Mills Design that Ambush are keeping their eye on is EFG Bank Mandrake co-owned by Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth. Also in Ambush’s sights is last year’s title holder, Blondie IV skippered by Simon Pickering and owned by Helmuth Hennig. According to Isler, these two boats 'will be hard to beat'.
After what promises to be three days of tough racing to sort the men from the boys, Ambush will be on the start line for the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. Isler is race ready… 'the offshore to Vietnam is unbeatable if you fancy fast paced downwind racing in warm weather'.
Among Ambush’s regular crew are the Razmilovic brothers, Ante and Nils. Ante is well-known in Etchells sailing circles and finished second at the 2010 Etchells Worlds. Mike Halkes, who previously campaigned for the Beijing Olympics in a 49er, is also present, as is Chris Stanmore-Major who sailed solo in the last Velux 5 Oceans race and skippered the boat Qingdao in the Clipper Around the World Race 2009/2010.
Father of co-owner Drew, Bruce Taylor makes a ‘guest appearance’ having raced his own boat ‘Chutzpa’ in no less than 26 Sydney to Hobart races.
The rest of the crew comprises Paul Rechten, Marcus Schmitt, Nigel Reeves, James Dolette, Nikki Claringbold, Mattias Suves and Philip Crinion.
Isler’s hopes for China Coast Race Week? – 'of course we are hoping for a division win in the China Coast Regatta and the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race'.