A fiercely competitive fleet of nine boats are about to set off on the 9th Hong Kong to Vietnam Race with two starts on 15 and 16 October. The focal point of the race falls on two trimarans: Italian Maserati Multi70 racing against Hong Kong’s Orma 60, SHK Scallywag/FUKU.
The trimarans’ goal, other than winning in their category, will be to challenge the race speed record set in 2015 by Syd Fischer with Ragamuffin 100 which crossed the finish line after 42h 17m 24s and clocking an average VMG of 15.8kts.
SHK Scallywag/FUKU (previously Team Australia) is co-owned by Seng Huang Lee of Hong Kong and Meitatsu Fukumoto of Japan. Skipper David Witt aims to break the race record in his favorite race: ”Winds are always strong and in the right direction, the water temperature always warm, Hong Kong is a great city to start from and Nha Trang is a great city to finish in.“
SHK Scallywag/FUKU holds the World Sailing Speed Record Council record of 1d 5h 52m 23s between Sydney and Hobart achieving top speeds of 39.6kts. Witt predicted the first part of this year’s Vietnam race will go fast, however the weather looks quite light near Vietnam and his expected time of arrival is 1500hrs local time on 17 October. “A smart man once told me, win the start, stay in the run, win the race” said Witt, adding that they hoped that due to their local knowledge, SHK Scallywag/FUKU would be the first yacht to clear out of Victoria Harbour.
To join the oceanic match racing is Maserati Multi70 who established the fastest Hong Kong to London sailing record in 2017. Giovanni Soldini, skipper of Maserati Multi70 is very happy to be in this race starting from Hong Kong: “It is a beautiful race and one of the most important races in Asia. We will have nice conditions, good wind, a fast passage downwind and a good fight with SHK Scallywag/FUKU.”
Whilst Soldini acknowledges SHK Scallywag/FUKU will have advantages in light wind, Maserati Multi70 performs better in strong wind conditions, however he is conservative about the arrival time of around 35 hours.
Also to be watched is American Bryon Ehrhart, Hong Kong to Vietnam Race 2013 IRC Racing 0 Division winner, who is returning to the race with his high performance yacht Maxi 72 Lucky competing against well-experienced Hong Kong to Vietnam Race veterans such as Ambush, FreeFire, Antipodes, Jinn, Lion Rock and Zanzibar from Singapore.
The Hong Kong to Vietnam Race is a biennial 673nm Category 1 Offshore race known for its windy and warm weather sailing conditions and is run under the auspices of Royal Ocean Racing Club. It is recognised as a qualifying race for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the longest Category One offshore race in Asia.
This year the start is split over two days, with the slower IRC Racer 2 division setting out on 15 October, 24 hours ahead of IRC Racer 0, IRC Racer 1 and MOCRA Multihull classes on 16 October.
To keep up with the latest news on the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race follow the links below:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rhkycCCRW/
Event website: https://www.chinacoastraceweek.com/
Notice of Race: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d0b0c6_7971cea4a1ce44cab546a034091d2c25.pdf
Sailing Instruction: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d0b0c6_ebaf29a20f92443795a240ae356016fc.pdf
photo credit: Erik Simonson
photo credit: Guy Nowell