Photos; Guy Nowell

Ragamuffin leads the charge

Rolex China Sea Race sets sail

Wednesday April 16th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: Hong Kong

At 1320hrs (HKT) the 2014 edition of the Rolex China Sea Race started in Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, in front of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Kellett Island clubhouse.

With a consistent 7 knots from the start line through the harbour and Lei Yue Mun, Race Officer Simon Boyde felt there was no choice, the 34-strong fleet requiring a line which stretched northwards from in front of the Club, almost to Kowloon.

On an offshore start line for the first time, Sea Wolf was perhaps a tad aggressive, pushing Ramrod over early, and taking herself half a boat length over in the process. Both Ragamuffin 90 and Antipodes chose to stay out of trouble at the pin end and, as expected, it was ‘Rags which quickly put distance between herself and the rest of the fleet.

Boyde’s decision to start in the harbour was vindicated as the boats made a clean break past Shek O towards open water, with Ragamuffin 90 heading the fleet, followed by Hi Fi and the TP52s, then the Ker 40s and Antipodes.

Six hours after the cannon fired to start the race, ‘Rags had built up a lead on the water of nearly 10nm on the 52 footers. Currently averaging just over 10 knots boat speed, ‘Rags is forecast to finish at around the 50 hour mark, outside the existing record of 47h 43m 07s set in 2000 by Karl Kwok.

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