With the late withdrawal of Sam CHAN's (HKG) defending champion Ffree Fire, the IRC A Racing Division is up for grabs and the six remaining racers will all fancy their chances. Local skipper Frank PONG (HKG) is hoping to carry off his first China Sea Race double of line honours and corrected time on his 75 footer, Jelik, but will be competing against almost identical sister boat, Boracay, helmed by Britain's Peter MORTON.
Ten yachts will contest IRC Division B, which does not denote smaller boats, but reflects the lower handicap ratings of the entrants who are all Hong Kong based, except for the Philippines' Martin TANCO on X452 Challenge and Shanghai's Steve MANNING (CHN) on First 44.7, Walawala.
Australia's Geoff HILL on Lyons 49 Strewth will be in good company in the IRC Premier Cruising Division with Hong Kong regulars Hocux Pocux 2, Shahtoosh and Moonblue 2 being joined by the new Dubois Global 80 Intrigue, from New Zealand.
In the HKPN division, along with three other yachts and two multihulls, Russian entry Carrera is expected to arrive in Hong Kong late tonight or tomorrow morning, having sailed from Vladivostok to take part in the race.