VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race Reports

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Daily Race Reports
By RHKYC Media

Black Baza claims handicap honours on first offshore race
AY MultiMedia & RHKYC Media

19th October 0800hrs: Although Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin 100 roared down the course and broke their own race record, when the spray has settled, it is Steve Manning and Anthony Root's new Ker 42 Black Baza, that has came out on top in the handicap stakes. winning both the Overall IRC and IRC Racer 1 Class. Having been launched only a couple of weeks ago, the highly optimised racer has won its first offshore race and lived up to all the earlier hype during construction. The owners are extremely proud of the achievement of both the boat and talented crew.

On their first outing in Asian waters, Aussie Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive skippered by Duncan Hine, slotted into 2nd overall and won IRC Racer 0 on the downwind sleigh ride, in the 20-25 knot North Easterly. Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire clocks into 3rd overall, only ten minutes behind Alive after 57 hours of racing.

Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race - Provisional IRC overall results
Pos Name
(Est) Elapsed time - Corrected elapsed

1 Black Baza
2d 14h 11m 57s - 3d 4h 7m 54s
2 Alive
2d 1h 56m 21s - 3d 6h 54m 14s
3 FreeFire
2d 9h 33m 16s - 3d 7h 4m 47s
4 Ragamuffin 100
1d 18h 17m 24s - 3d 9h 34m 39s
5 Antipodes
2d 11h 12m 24s - 3d 10h 7m 11s
6 Ambush
2d 19h 42m 47s - 3d 11h 17m 13s
7 EFG Mandrake
2d 23h 29m 48s - 3d 12h 26m 15s
8 Zanzibar
2d 23h 22m 52s 3d 14h 26m 33s

IRC Racer 0
Alive Yachting
FreeFire Racing
Team Ragamuffin 100

IRC Racer 1
Black Baza
EFG Mandrake

Alive finishes 2nd, good prospect for IRC Overall
By RHKYC Media

17th October 0800hrs: RP66 Alive finished at 15:16:21, recording an elapsed time of 49:56:21, in second place on the water and in a commanding position in the IRC overall stakes, although still open to a challenge from FreeFire or Black Baza if today’s healthy breeze continues to blow.

The conditions saved the best until last, with owner Philip Turner saying “today’s racing was probably the most exciting ... getting 20 to 25kts, meaning a lot of sail changes – busy-busy!”

The 673nm Category 1 race has a reputation for being tough on boats as well as crew so it was no surprise when Turner added “we had a couple of dramas, a big broach and we did some damage to the spinnakers ..”

The next boat due in at the finish in Nha Trang will be the first Hong Kong boat to finish. Sam Chan’s TP52, FreeFire is expected at around 2200hrs HKT, followd by Race Chairman Geoff Hill’s Smith Custom 72 Antipodes, just after midnight.

Photos by RHKYC - Xaume Olleros - Lindsay Lyons

Line honours & race record for Ragamuffin 100
By RHKYC Media

17th October 0800hrs: Nip & tuck right till the end and congratulations goes to Syd Fischer's team Ragamuffin 100 for breaking their own record! New provisional record is 42h 17m 24s, having finished at 07:37:24 HKT and bettering the previous record by 23 minutes and 56 seconds. A hearty Vietnamese welcome party greeted the sailors as they completed CIQ procedures and ready to celebrate.

At 07:27:34 HKT in Nha Trang, Vietnam, Ragamuffin 100 slid gracefully over the line to claim her second Hong Kong to Vietnam Race in succession, with a new race record to boot.

After reaching boat speeds of 35kts plus, and breaking the existing record by nearly 24 minutes, Skipper David Witt was happy with the performance, although philosophical about their failure to break the 40 hour barrier for the 673nm race.

“It was a quiet ride in the first half, and the second half was basically VMG. It wasn’t so much the wind speed but the wind angle that affected that and you can’t do much about it.... It (the second half) was nice and fresh, so that was good.”

“We didn’t break anything and that’s always a tick in the box and we didn’t have any downtime on the boat at all during the race. The crew did a really good job and (those factors) are pretty important when you’re trying to break a record.”

With owner Syd Fischer sitting this one out, Witt had already been in contact with the family by the time he reached the dock, with the reaction described as “pretty excited”.

While Syd Fischer’s Team Ragamuffin enjoyed presentations by local officials before relaxing with a well-earned beer, the other 11 boats in the fleet continue with their race.

Alive continues to make good progress on the water, recently averaging 16kts VMG and due to arrive at 1530hrs HKT. The next finishes should be Antipodes and FreeFire at around midnight, with Black Baza dropping back again and expected around 0800hrs together with Ambush.

Dying breeze may scupper Ragamuffin's chances of breaking record
By RHKYC Media

16th October 2200hrs: Over 32 hours after starting the race, Syd Fischer's Team Ragamuffin is only 180nm from the finish line in Nha Trang, however the breeze has softened, and the 100 footer is registering under 15kts recent VMG almost certainly scuppering her target of completing the race in under 40 hours.

Alive is 84nm further back, showing similar boat speed, while FreeFire and Antipodes are only 2nm apart based on distance from start. Racing pairs seems to be a bit of a trend, with Zanzibar and EFG Mandrake within 10nm of each other, and ARK323 and Surfdude currently in close quarters.

Ragamuffin and Alive are forecast to finish tomorrow, with FreeFire, Antipodes and Black Baza ETA'd at breakfast time on Saturday. Ambush, Zanzibar and EFG Mandrake are due in later that afternoon, with ARK323, Surfdude, Tipsy Easy and Avant Garde reaching Nha Trang on Monday.

Ragamuffin 100 within striking distance of race record
By RHKYC Media

16th October 1700hrs: After an exciting windward beat out of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, the boats have settled down to a thrilling fast ride south towards Vietnam.

The favoured line honours boat, Syd Fisher’s Ragamuffin 100 is leading the 12 boat fleet in the 673nm race to Nha Trang on the eastern coast of Vietnam. Alive, the 66ft Reichel Pugh is now 70nm behind Ragamuffin after a neck to neck battle in the harbour making most people wonder if it was going to be like that all the way to Vietnam.

Winds are currently 20 to 25kts as predicted and all the yachts are planing along between 9 and 18kts boatspeed. Minute by minute updates are available on the live online tracking by Yellowbrick at

At 1630hrs Hong Kong time today, Ragamuffin 100 had only 250nm to go and is well within striking distance of the race record. She needs to finish just before 0800hrs tomorrow morning to break the record that her 90’ namesake Ragamuffin 90 set in 2013.

Superb performance from the new boat in Hong Kong, Black Baza, skippered by Steven Manning. This Ker 42 boat was launched only two weeks ago and proving to be a speed machine already. Black Baza is now leading IRC handicap and 5th fastest boat.

Antipodes owned by Geoff Hill and Sam Chan’s FreeFire are having a race within a race – barely 1nm between the two of them. Antipodes is a larger but heavier 72ft boat and FreeFire is a TP52.

Tipsy Easy, a Beneteau 50 cruiser racer is leading the IRC performance division with 475nm to go; over 200nm behind Ragamuffin 100.

Avante Garde Joshua Cole’s Archambault 35 is trailing the fleet but leading on IRC handicap Division 2.

ARK323 another TP52 is fast coming up through the fleet after having to return to the start with mechanical problems.

Photos by RHKYC - Xaume Olleros - Lindsay Lyons

Official Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race website at:

Follow the Race on the Club’s Facebook page at:

Spectators can also track the race via Yellowbrick tracking at:

Fleet set sail to Vietnam, as Northerly arrives on time
By RHKYC Media

15th Oct 1800hrs: At 1320hrs today, after weeks of intense preparation and safety scrutineering, 12 boats crossed the start line for the seventh edition of this 673nm Category 1 offshore race from Hong Kong to Nha Trang, Vietnam, which started in 1996.

With 6kts of easterly in front of RHKYC’s Kellett Island clubhouse, RO Simon Boyde made the call to lay a Club start and was vindicated when the fleet cleared Lai Yue Mun gap without stopping and continued past Shek O Rock and out of sight in 12kts of breeze.

Alive made an almost perfect start and, along with Syd Fischer’s Team Ragamuffin, was first through the gap. At 1700hrs HKT, Rags was averaging nearly 15kts VMG and had built up the expected lead on the water, 6nm ahead of RP66 Alive and 10nm ahead of TP52 FreeFire.

The battle for IRC Overall is a lot more difficult to call, with Alive currently showing at the top of the list, but with Black Baza, FreeFire and Ambush very much on her transom.

ARK 323, hoping to use the race as their Qualifier for this year’s Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, had a setback when their propeller parted company with the boat while still in the typhoon shelter. Shrewdly, the TP52 started with the fleet and sailed as far as Lei Yue Mun before returning to Kellett Island to be lifted out and refitted with a propeller donated by RHKYC’s Frank Pong. Operational once more, she was returned to the water and continued with her race, although she currently lies well behind the fleet.

The current ETA for Syd Fischer’s Team Ragamuffin is mid-afternoon on Saturday, which would leave her well outside her stated target of finishing inside 40 hours, however stronger winds are expected to kick in later in the race which may still make a new record feasible.

Photos by RHKYC - Xaume Olleros

Official Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race website at:

Follow the Race on the Club’s Facebook page at:

Spectators can also track the race via Yellowbrick tracking at:

About the Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race

First conceived in 1996 when it was run at Lunar New Year, this 656nm Category 1 offshore race is now a biennial fixture in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club sailing calendar. A constituent event of RHKYC’s popular China Coast Race Week, the race makes the most of October’s prevailing north east monsoon to give competitors a thrilling, predominantly downwind race from Hong Kong to Nha Trang on Vietnam’s eastern seaboard. The 2015 edition will see a 12 yacht fleet chasing the current race record of 42h 41m 20s is held by Syd Fischer’s “Ragamuffin 90” at an approximate average speed of 15.4 knots.

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