Ragamuffin claims line honours
After 57h 31m 18s of racing, Syd Fischer finally steered his 90ft Maxi, Ragamuffin 90, over the line to claim line honours for the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race. Having successfully maintained a boat speed of 9 to 13kts for 564nm, the boat hit a hole in the last mile to leave the frustrated crew sitting motionless for an hour within sight of the finish line.
On the dock, asked about the light winds forecast for the race, Fischer said “that’s why this is a good boat – the modifications helped a lot - we got the breeze that we anticipated but the boat sails well above the wind strength.” Boat captain David Witt added “it’s something to be 87 and on the rail all day. There are 22 year olds ... who could get a bit of inspiration from an 87 year old.” Witt was pleased with the timing of their finish, notwithstanding the wait at the finish line, noting that “you don’t want to be entering (Subic Bay) early in the morning.”
The competition for IRC Overall is still wide open, with Freefire, Lucky and Hi Fi all within 2nm of each other, a few miles ahead of Antipodes and due to finish around 0800hrs on Saturday. The 52 footers are all at the top of the IRC projected leaderboard, with Standard Insurance Centennial due to finish around four hours later. The race management team is then in for a busy night, with most of IRC Racing 1 and Premier due to finish in the dark.