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Five wins in the IRC 3 Class for Nick Southward's J-109 Whisky Jack becomes the highest scorer on the AYGP Rankings at the China Coast Regatta, while the 2015-16 & 2016-17 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year, Steve Manning skippering his newly acquired A40 Red Rum, scored four wins in the IRC 2 class and enter the 2017-18 Rankings in 6th place. Proving you don't have to be in the top racing classes to be in contention for the title.
Other class winners Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 Otonomos Mandrake III, 3 wins scored them 13 points and Marcel Liedts Ker 46 Zannekin, 2 bullets, slots them amongst the high scorers at the season beginning Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek. Some of the Skippers and Yachts have another chance to rack up the points on the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race starting on Tuesday and Wednesday and the China Cup International Regatta from October 26th - 29th, before racing swings over to the South East Asian Circuit for the Raja Muda Selangor Int. Regatta (Nov 17th - 25th) and Phuket Regatta on (Dec 2nd - 9th) to round out the 2017 Racing Calendar.
Since Tropical Storm Khanun moved on over Hainan and has dissipated in Vietnam, its taken a couple of days for the North Easterly Monsoon to reestablish and by start time, will be back with a vengeance in the 20 - 25 knot range. Three yachts in the IRC Racer 2 class started today, and the 10 strong gung-ho racers in the IRC 0 & 1 fleet, go under starters orders on Wednesday at 1305, is designed to have the classes finishing together in Vietnam.
This means the sailors will not be deprived of the downwind sleigh ride that the 656nm race is famous for. Once clear of the bumpy contenental shelf, crews can latch onto the ocean swell and surf the boat at high speed down the waves. Odds on favourite for line honours is Phillip Turner's Reichel/Pugh 66 Alive is returning for another tilt at the title and if conditions are favourable, set a new race record below the 40 hour benchmark, in the process
Hot on their heels will be the Italians on Matteo Savelli's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino taking on China's Wang Bin's sister ship Cookson 50 UBOX, Geoff Hill's Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes tops the scales and Sam Chan's TP52 FreeFire knows the way and is always in contention. These four boats all rate roughly the same and expect to have a battle on their hands, getting to Nha Trang in front and in the overall IRC and IRC 0 handicap stakes.
This race requires long distance sailing skills and fast helms able to reach and maintain optimum boat speed in the tuff conditions. Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 Otonomos Mandrake III and Joachim Isler/Drew Taylor's new Mills 41 Ambush must start out as IRC 1 favourites, but Jonathan Mahony's well traveled Humphreys 42 Zanzibar from Singapore cannot be discarded from the equation. New comers Michael Lunn's Azuree 40 Lion Rock and Steve Ho"s Felci 45 Surf Dude are in for a hell of a ride and intend on making inroads as the wind decreases as the fleet close in on the Vietnam coast.
Thanks to the modern marvels of the internet both starts on 17 and 18 October will be broadcast live on the Volvo China Coast Race Week Facebook Page with commentary by well-known Hong Kong sailor, Laurence Mead and Alive Yachting will also be live streaming the start at 1300hrs HKT. Can also follow the fleets progress on the Yellowbrick Tracker
Armchair sailors can test their downwind sail angles on the Virtual Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race at http://www.sailonline.org
The AYGP is a unique point scoring system, that annually ranks all the big boat Skippers and Yachts that race in Eastern and South East Asian waters. To be fully representative of the regions sailing nations, regattas in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and China are point scoring events.
Ultimately the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year will don the Trend Fashions navy blue blazer, presented with the Perpetual AYGP Cup filled with champagne and the hand crafted take home trophy at the gala Samui Regatta prize presentation party in May next year, is the highlight of the AYGP season.
View the AYGP promotion video by Marine Scene Asia
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