2017/18 AY Grand Prix Event
Mascalzone Latino owner Vincenzo Onorato commented on the Race on arrival, “It's the very first time we have joined the Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. It was amazing because we did the Race in 53h 26m 31s and we did around 770nm actual distance sailed - unbelievable! The only 'low' of the race was to just keep drinking water, there was no beer on board. The biggest high - we had a top speed of 30kts; unbelievable.” Check out Vincenzo Onorato's account of the race Here...
Joachim Isler and Drew Taylor’s Mills 41 Ambush takes the win in the IRC Racer 1 division and 2nd IRC Overall, after an epic run which saw Ambush punching above her weight, keeping her up with the 50 footers for most of the Race and clocking an impressive elapsed time of 61h 27m 59s.
3rd in IRC Racer Overall and 2nd in IRC Racer 0 is Hong Kong’s own Sam Chan's TP52 FreeFire with a corrected time of 78h 27m 30s.
The IRC Racer 2 fleet - which started 25 hours before the IRC Racer 0 and 1 divisions – began to arrive in Nha Trang last night. Russian entry, Alexander Vodovatov’s First 40 CR No Applause, sailed in at 20h 04m 46s - shortly before Nick Southward’s J-109 Whiskey Jack at 21h 27m 33s with Whiskey Jack taking the win with an elapsed time of 83h 19m 14s.
Nick Southward said “It was a great race, it was really fantastic; especially the last day where we had a 'bucking bronco' ride down the coast of Vietnam, where we really were going very fast. We had a top speed of 18kts which is actually Whiskey Jack’s top speed ever. The introduction of staggered starts was a great move because it meant that we arrived at the same time as the big boats. The only low point of the race was when we wrapped our A4 around the forestay in the worst possible wrap you could imagine; hourglass top and bottom. We were really low for about an hour while we figured out how to unwrap it, but we eventually we did and it was great that it was still in one piece.”
The remaining boats are expected to arrive within the next 24 hours, to keep up with their progress and results, follow on the official Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race website at: https://www.chinacoastraceweek.com/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rhkycCCRW/
takes Line Honours
The next boat expected to arrive is Matteo Savelli’s Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino who is currently leading in IRC Racer 0 and IRC Racer Overall. Mascalzone Latino tactician Adrian Stead, a well-known international sailor who has competed in the America’s Cup and the Olympics was interviewed before the race kicked off in Hong Kong; “The Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race is a pretty hard core offshore and it starts in a great place. The boat is on its way to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in December and we saw this as a great opportunity to tick the race off of our bucket list. Handicap honours are our goal. We know that we have to keep the boat together; we have to push it hard; we also have to know when to back off the breeze and not hit or get tangled up in anything.”
The IRC Racer 2 division which started 25 hours before the rest of the fleet, are expected to arrive next, with the first Russian entry to compete in the Race - Alexander Vodovatov’s First 40 CR No Applause, arriving shortly before Nick Southward’s J-109 Whisky Jack who is currently in the lead in IRC Racer 2.
With the majority of the fleet expected to arrive tonight and early morning hours, keep up with the updates on the official Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race website at: https://www.chinacoastraceweek.com/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rhkycCCRW/
Follow the fleets progress on the Yellowbrick Tracker
Gaining on Early Starters
Joachim Isler and Drew Taylor’s Mills 41 Ambush did two early jibes; the first of which may have put them west of the rhumb line; a tactic which has not paid off for Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns’ Sydney GTS 43 Ontonomos Mandrake and Jonathan Mahony’s HYD 42 Zanzibar. Luckily Ambush jibed back and is sending it to be keeping up with the 50 footers. She is currently 1st in IRC Racer 1. Onboard Ambush is father and son team Bruce and Drew Taylor who have done 57 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races between them as well as eight Hong Kong to Vietnam Races.
The 50 footers are keeping close together with the first Italian entry to take part in the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, Matteo Savelli’s Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino leading the IRC Racer 0 division on corrected time and 1st in IRC Overall. On board is a slew of well known professional sailors including navigator, Ian Moore who has participated in numerous campaigns including the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.
Sadly Geoffrey Hills’ Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes has had to retire due to steering issues. The crew is all well and they are now sailing yet slightly slower towards Da Nang, Vietnam.
Glorious Hong Kong Day and They’re Away
As the fleet progressed up the harbour it was a game of staying in pressure with Matteo Savelli’s Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino leading the fleet until Lei Yue Mun gap where she got stuck in a hole and Phillip Turner’s Reichel/Pugh 66 Alive pulled ahead and subsequently was the first boat through the gap and to stretch out on the horizon.
Alive, the 2015 Hong Kong to Vietnam IRC 0 winner is expected to take Line Honours ahead of the largest boat in the fleet Geoffrey Hill’s Santa Cruz 72 Antipodes. On board Antipodes is five-time Volvo Ocean Race Sailor, Matt Humphries as well as the only sailor to compete in every Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, Alan Tillyer. Also in the IRC Racer 0 division is the first China entry to take part in the Race, Wang Bin’s Cookson 50 Ubox. Ubox was the 3rd overall winner of the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.
Leading the IRC Racer 1 division out of the harbour were arch rivals Joachim Isler and Drew Taylor’s Mills 41 Ambush and Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 Otonomos Mandrake, Ambush took 2nd place in the 2015 Hong Kong to Vietnam Race with Mandrake taking the IRC Racer 1 win in the Volvo China Coast Regatta last week in Hong Kong. It will be interesting to watch the Yellow Brick tracker online to see who pulls ahead tonight.
Once out of the harbour the fleet will fetch towards the Soko Islands then pop their kites for the 673nm downwind thrash towards Nha Trang, Vietnam. To keep up with daily updates and race reports as the race progress follow the Volvo China Coast Race Week Facebook page.
Official Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race website at: https://www.chinacoastraceweek.com/
About the Volvo 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 2017 edition will see a 13 yacht fleet chasing Syd Fischer's team Ragamuffin 100 record of 42h 17m 24s, at an approximate average speed of 16 knots.
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