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Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Nha Trang Rally: FreeFire triumphs in IRC Overall

by RHKYC Media 19 Oct 2019 01:01 PDT
2019 Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Nha Trang Rally © RHKYC / Guy Nowell

Joachim Isler and Andrew Taylor's Mills 41 Ambush was the final boat to sail into Nha Trang, Vietnam last night (18 Oct) at 22h 40m 42s(HK Time), putting her in 1st place for IRC Race 1 division.

Sam Chan's TP52 FreeFire finished the rally in corrected elapsed time of 66h 22m7s, all eyes had been on Ambush to see if she could wrestle the Overall prize from FreeFire but it was not to be. FreeFire also claimed the trophy in IRC Racer 0.

FreeFire Skipper, Russ Parker said of the rally "It was wet, very wet but fast too! That was our quickest time ever to Nha Trang and a great result. We really appreciate the excellent work by RHKYC to navigate some serious hurdles at the eleventh hour and keep the event on. Unfortunately Sam couldn't make it with us this time but the crew would like to say a huge thanks to him for providing us with such a great boat and opportunity."

Geoff Hill's Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes sailed a corrected elapsed time of 68h33m1s, taking 3rd in IRC Racer 0 division. Hill was thrilled "This is the best event in Asia. We had a fantastic time and we did it in just under 50 hours and we had a top speed of 31kts which isn't too bad for a 30 year old boat! I still think this is one of the most iconic events in Asia and certainly one of the best that I do."

Minutes after Antipodes crossed the finish, Jinn (from IRC Racer 2 and which started the rally some 28 hours before Antipodes) crossed the line to lift the trophy in her division.

Skipper Nicolas Cohen-Addad recalled their exciting moments during the rally: "The rally was rough, especially the first 20 hours. We had 32 to 33kts downwind speed with 5 to 6m swells. For two of our crew it was their first experience really and they were a bit shaken up. The rally was good... okay we lost three spinnakers but no big deal... there was too much wind so they blew up. We got caught into a maze of fishing nets; we had to do emergency tacks and emergency gybes and that's how we blew the A2. The arrival was nice. It was a good rally; we had good fun."

All yachts arrived at Nha Trang in midst of the squalls and heavy conditions over the past three days. Zanzibar retired from the rally due to rig damage and Lion Rock retired just less than 1nm from the finish line due to lack of wind.

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