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12th China Cup International Regatta - Day 3

by Andy Rice, 10 Nov 05:15 PST 8-12 November 2018

Cheung Kong Sailing Club Team moved to the top of the Beneteau 40.7 leaderboard after a solid performance on day three of the China Cup International Regatta in Shenzhen. Jono Rankine steered his crew across the finish line of the 19-mile around-the-islands race more than two minutes ahead of the chasing pack.

Rankine effectively won the long distance race when he read the sailing instructions a little more carefully than his rivals. "On the windward-leeward races we have a windward mark and a spacer mark, and you sail around both marks in the same direction," said the Kiwi professional. "But the rules are different for the long distance race when the two marks become a gate. We were fortunate that some of the other boats hadn't noticed this, and by the time they turned back to unwind their mistake, we had a pretty nice lead."

Avoiding that banana skin has put Cheung Kong to the top of the scoreboard, although the New Zealand/Chinese boat is tied on points with PerDormire Team from South Africa. Tactician Paul Willcox was ruing missed opportunities but also reasonably satisfied with the day. "We got a 2,3, so we were top boat for the day," said Willcox. "But we're kicking ourselves for missing out on winning the morning race which we were leading for a while, and then making that mistake at the windward gate. We were a long way back at one point, so we're happy to have got a third by the finish."

Ray Roberts won the morning windward-leeward race, lifting BoomEgg - JoyOurs Team to fourth place overall, just two points behind Vanhang Longcheer who have dropped to third after an uncharacteristically poor couple of results - a 4,10 not what they were hoping for. The Australian yacht racing veteran competed in and won the very first China Cup 12 editions ago, and is happy to be back in Shenzhen and still at the sharp end of the fleet. "The event has developed a huge amount over the years, and the quality of the racing is higher than ever," Roberts commented.

In IRC A, Standard Insurance Centennial Sailing Team from the Philippines saw their lead diminish to a single point after other teams won the two races of the day, firstly Ark323 Noahs Sailing Club, and then Shawn Kang's Lighthorse Alpha +. IRC A2 is shaping up to be a match race between Tiffany Koo's Hero Racing versus the Soto40 Seamo Racing skippered by Guo Ji Lan, these two boats each scoring a first and second place today. In IRC B, Ocean Link - Dalian Maritime University Sailing Team, a Comet 51S skippered by Mu Shijia, moved into the lead after winning both races. In IRC C a race win puts Nick Southward's J/109 Whiskey Jack ahead of Zhao Bingqing's TEN33 Sanya Yomovo Team.

After the first two days of light airs, today's conditions provided more of a physical test, and the sailors are hoping the forecast holds true for more good winds for the final two days of the China Cup.

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