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RHKYC Nha Trang Rally 2019

by Guy Nowell / RHKYC Media 17 Oct 2019 23:02 PDT 16-17 October 2019
Scallywag/FUKU and Maserati MOD70 on the start line. RHKYC Nha Trang Rally 2019. © Guy Nowell / RHKYC

The headlines were always going to be the big trimarans, and so it was: Scallywag/FUKU (ORMA 60) versus Maserati MOD70.

Pre-race, and the educated opinion said that Scallywag/FUKU would have the advantage in anything light, but Maserati would get up on her foils and blow smoke in heavier airs and bigger seas.

Maserati had a dreadful start in the harbour; not so much ‘second row’ as ‘back of the stalls’. The RO reported 6kts of breeze on the start line, and Lucky won that handsomely at the pin end. Scallywag cruised past within moments, but Maserati was left wallowing. Scallywag/FUKU extended all the way up the harbour, while Maserati traded crosses with Lucky. The watchers on the media boat thought that Giovanni Soldini would put the hammer down when he got into clear water past Lei Yue Mun, but still the MOD70 stayed sticky. At the TCS2 buoy, Lucky actually passed the big tri – briefly – and then they were gone and in moderately lumpy seas a Protector with 300hp on the back was not going to keep up, so we waved goodbye.

Maserati trailed Scallywag for a long time, until the Italians got some real breeze and moved into the lead. “Once that boat gets up on its foils we knew it would smoke us - and it did,” came from on board Scallywag/FUKU. But we all know that it’s not over until the fat lady sings. It was a rough, wet, and exhausting night of high speed chasing.

“On the last leg coming into Nah Trang we (Scallywag/FUKU) were 7 nm behind, but still feeling confident. Then a squall line came through; we positioned ourselves on the front of it, kept all the gear up knowing it was a big risk, put Witty on the wood and just hung on for dear life. We powered past Maserati at 38kts as they sat on the wrong side of the squall in practically no breeze. No breakages, nothing. Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have gone badly for us, but fortunately we have some very good people on the boat who handled it all superbly – and with no instruments for the whole race!”

Scallywag/FUKU tore into Nha Trang, Vietnam, on 17 October at 21h 19m 27s (HK time) to take the Multihull Line Honours for the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Nha Trang Rally in an elapsed time of 30h 9m 27s.

On the dock, skipper David Witt said that Scallywag/FUKU was estimating a time to the line of 28 hours. “A wise man once told me, “win the start, stay in the run, win the race”. That was the plan, and the race went to plan for us.” Witt was very happy with the win, adding that “it was very wet, very tiring and hard work but we got the result in the end. I'm getting too old for this I think! It was a really good race with Maserati. We had to make a couple of decisions in the end but we got it right. Everyone is safe and the boat's in one piece. Time to have dinner and a drink.”

Scallywag/FUKU navigator, Trystan Seal, added “I think luck played on our side for sure but we also played the shift really well. We read what was in front of us really well, and we came out on top.” [That’s not luck, that’s a good navigator and a good call. Ed]

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