China Sea Race wraps up under idyllic conditions

he final yachts arrived in Subic Bay this morning, wrapping up the 2018 Rolex China Sea Race. 29 boats took part in the 2018 edition with 265 competitors hailing from 22 territories.

The 18 year-old multihull record was broken by Karl Kwok's MOD 70 Beau Geste with top speeds of 37 knots and her impressive elapsed time of 38h 30m 07s wiped 9h 31m 40s off the previous race record set in 2000.

It wasn't a traditional Rolex China Sea Race in terms of wind strength and angle; however it still provided competitors the challenge that they seek with offshore racing. There was a difficult weather picture for the latter stage of the race for the faster IRC 0 division yachts and with the breeze filling in behind the other divisions as they made their way towards the Philippines.

The IRC Overall win, from IRC 1 Division, went to Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns GTS 43 Mandrake III (HKG), followed by YY Yan / YF Liu Ker 42 Custom Seawolf (HKG / China) also from IRC 1.

Tiger Mok commented on Seawolf s 2nd overall: “This was the second or third major offshore race for Seawolf and I am delighted to see the improvement and willingness to push harder in the race.

“The boys did a great job! I hope we can be an example for other boat owners from China, who are new to offshore sailing so that more owners take part in this type of race, as well as to prove that anyone with good training, knowledge and experience can perform well in world class offshore racing.”

Third overall from the IRC 0 division went to Philippines entry, Ernesto Echauz s TP52 Standard Insurance Centennial. “We had a very good race. It was trouble free. Out of all the races we have done it was the most relaxing; no problems at all. It's very meaningful for us as we have been racing together for more than ten years,” Echauz said.

Father and son double-handed entry, Philippe and Comos Grelon's Tbs-Aya, finished last night taking 15th overall and second in the IRC Class 2 behind Glenn Smith s Grand Soleil 45 Blackjack. On arrival they commented

“We wanted to have fun that s for sure and to finish – which was probably not too difficult as the conditions were absolutely perfect for us. I think we only had maximum breeze of 30 knots. Sailing double-handed, I think it takes quite a bit of skill; you need to know what you’re doing and have a lot of trust in the other person too.

“The good news we have been sailing a lot together, we know each other perfectly, we don't argue and that's amazing. We had a very cool and quiet race. On decisions Philippe commented, “One says ‘let's do this or that’ and the other says ’yes okay’. I prefer to sail double handed because we know each very well there’s no problem.”

In IRC Premier Division, Peter Cremers Warwick 75 Shahtoosh had an awesome run taking the division win and 5th Overall; climbing up the ladder from 13th in 2016 edition. In the IRC Cruising Division, first time Rolex China Sea Race competitor Michael Ashbrook s Jeanneau Sitka took the division win.

The on location prize giving will be held tonight with the official prize giving at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club later in April.

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