Hi Fi home in second
Subic Bay played host to the second batch of boats finishing the 50th Anniversary Rolex China Sea Race today. The second boat in after Genuine Risk, who finished last night to take line honours, was Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi finishing at 16:00.54 (UTC +8).
Pryde recounted Hi Fi’s race: “The first night we got very good mileage down the track but the second day we just ran out of wind and had a very bad day. The fleet split, we had a game plan to stay south and I think we lost out quite a lot. We didn’t get any wind and had a hard time in the race, allowing the smaller boats to catch right up to us. If we lose the race it’s going to be because of the second day, but that’s yacht racing. We had a plan, we stuck to it and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Following Hi Fi, the next to arrive in Subic Bay at 17:59.19 (UTC +8) was Jelik V and their almost entirely Filipino crew. The team’s enthusiasm at coming home was evident, as boat owner Ernesto 'Judes' Echauz said: “It was a very nice race, we enjoyed it a lot. It was exciting because as usual, the race was very tactical and we were trying to analyse what the other yachts were doing. We’re not happy with our result in the sense that we had equipment failure when we broke two spinnakers, but that’s how it goes. We are happy with the new boat. This was my eighth time in this race and we congratulate the organization on how it has been done. We also thank Rolex for sponsoring this event- for us it is the best ocean racing in Asia so we wouldn’t miss it. We’ll definitely be back!”
Meanwhile, the race for IRC Overall is heating between the remaining boats, with a number in the running for taking the title, including Zanzibar, EFC Mandrake, Red Kite II, Australian Maid and Vega.
“It’s a bit difficult to say how we are doing,” said Thomas Wiesinger, skipper of Vega. “We’ve had a very good last two days and are finally approaching Subic; we hope to be there roughly tomorrow afternoon. In regards to IRC Overall, we just ran some numbers and it is looking good for the smaller boats… but I know a few other smaller boats that seem to be ahead of us so, really, we are not aiming that high. We will be very happy if we place well and so far, it is not looking bad for us, so we’ll just keep fighting and will hang in there.”
Anthony Root aboard Red Kite II confirmed that the team hoped to be in Subic Bay by breakfast local time. “We are in the final leg of the approach, doing very well, we’ve had a great race. It’s been very tactical, we’ve made a lot of judgment calls and fortunately most of them seem to be working out in our favour, so we are pretty pleased. We do think we have a chance at Overall. We’ve done some calculations on what it would take for us to win- if the breeze holds and the plan plays out the way we hope it will, we should place well in our division. But it’s a pretty close race with a lot of boats very close together so it’s hard to predict.”