Goto Rolex China Sea Race
Goto 2017-18 AYGP  Rolex China Sea Race 2018

Hong Kong - Subic Bay, Philippines

AY Race Report 2

2017/18 AY Grand Prix Event

Beau Geste inches toward Rolex China Sea Race record
By RHKYC Media
29th March 2018: Having had an epic first 24 hours averaging 20kts followed by a challenging morning in very little breeze, Karl Kwok's MOD Beau Geste is expected in to cross the finish line after midnight tonight and in doing so will break Atmosphere’s 18 year old multihull record of 48h 01m 47s.

The rest of the fleet seem to be following the same wind models and are sticking to the south of the rhumb line. Ahead in IRC 0 is Phillip Turner's Reichel/Pugh 66 Alive (AUS) whilst in IRC 1, the leader is 2016 Rolex China Sea Race Overall Winner (Black Baza) under another name Seawolf (HKG / China), a Ker 42 Custom owned by YY Yan and YF Liu.

Ross Vickers and crew on board Seawolf had a long night... "We have spent the night tight reaching with the jib top in 10kts with a few shifts trying hard to set up our position against the other 40s to best set up for the approach into Subic Bay. The two models we have suggest two slightly different options so covering both bases until we know what will happen with some certainty. The guys are sailing very well and all is good on board.”

In IRC 2, Glenn Smith’s Grand Soleil Blackjack (HKG) is leading with 360nm to go to finish. Peter Cremers Warwick 75 Shahtoosh (HKG) is ahead of IRC Premier Cruising and Michael Ashbrook’s Jeanneau 469 Sitka (HKG) is leading in IRC Cruising. However with the fleet fast approaching the notorious Luzon hole, eyes will be on the YB tracker to see who prevails.

Father and son team Philippe and Cosmos Grelon on Tbs Aya had a challenging morning and a near loss of rig. “We had a very good night quite under a nice moon. But a bit of a stressful morning tea!" said Philippe. "We were about to send our code zero back up as the wind angle became favourable, when Cosmas showed me a bit of a sheared pin that he found lying on the foredeck. I rushed at the bow of the boat to find that the pin of the forestay was half cut but by some miracle was still hanging on. Luckily we had our baby stay on all night which definitely saved our mast. The sea was flat and the sun high in the sky so a good day for a repair. After fitting several ropes to tension the forestay in position, I finally managed to fit the new bolt. All in all we lost 1.5 hours and we are now under code zero trying to catch our fleet.”

The current race record stands at an impressive 47h 31m 08s for monohulls set in 2016 by Alive and 48h 01m 47s in the multihulls set in 2000 by Benoit Lesaffre’s Crowther 50 Catamaran Atmosphere. Keep your eyes on the YB tracker to see how the Race develops overnight!

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Image Credit: RHKYC / Rolex / Daniel Forster / Guy Nowell / Naomi Rebecca

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