Organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and postponed from 2010 due to the track of super typhoon Megi, the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race finally got underway at 1355hrs today, off the south east of Lamma Island.
From there, the nine competitors will round Wenwei Zhou before passing a series of island marks on the 656nm journey to Nha Trang in Vietnam.
With 16 to 18 knots of due easterly, Race Officer Jimmy Farquhar set a windward mark at just over 0.6nm from the start line and wasted no time in bidding the fleet ‘bon voyage’.
Audi ultra showed off her lines as she powered around the windward mark in 11 minutes at the head of the fleet, ahead of FreeFire and Hi Fi. In IRC Racing Division 2, Ambush was round in 13 minutes, ahead of EFG Bank Mandrake, who appeared to have a headsail problem, followed by a less than slick spinnaker hoist. After 20 minutes, the lone Premier Cruising entrant, El Oro, rounded the mark, and the race committee left the course.
The first position reporting schedule is at 1800hrs tonight, and all eyes are on Audi ultra to see if she is on course to make an assault on Skandia’s 2004 record of 42h 45m 41s.
Yellowbrick tracking is on board all the competitors, and can be viewed at http://live.adventuretracking.com/HKVN2011
updated at 30 minute intervals.