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29 March 2006, 12:58 pm
Gearing Up For Hong Kong Start
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China Sea Race 2006
Hong Kong

A total of 28 entries has been received for the 23rd China Sea Race, which starts in Hong Kong at 1200 local time on Thursday 13 April. The biennial 565 nautical mile race, organized by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in cooperation with Manila Yacht Club and run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), is considered by many to be the ultimate Asian blue water offshore sailing event.
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The 2006 race will finish in Subic Bay, north west of Manila, the Philippines and will tie in with the President's Cup Regatta, organized by Manila Yacht Club (MYC) and Subic Bay Yacht Club, which will start on 18 April and forms the second element of the China Sea Race Series.

The entry list features combinations of boats and skippers not previously seen in the race, and with 22 boats racing under IRC, the competition promises to be fierce. Overseas entries include Martin TANCO (PHI) from MYC on X452 Challenge and Mikhailov ALEXEY from Russia on Farr 43 Carrera, together with Geoff HILL's (AUS) Lyons 49 Strewth, which is becoming a regular on the Asian circuit and 'Doc' Ian NICOLSON (GBR), back in town with new Dubois Global 80, Intrigue.

A Hard One To Call

Divisions have yet to be set by the Race Committee, however with regular RHKYC racers Drumstick, Ffree Fire, Jaywalker, Jelik, Mandrake and Siren also competing, the 2006 race will be anything but predictable.

Spicing up the mix is Peter MORTON (GBR) of Boat Sales International Ltd. who will be helming Frank PONG's (HKG) Riechel/Pugh Boracay (formerly Enigma) on which he also sailed when she won the 2003 Fastnet Race. PONG will be countering with vast experience of racing on the South China Sea, plus, perhaps, a secret weapon or two. Following China Team's successful training camp in Hong Kong and Shenzhen in March, PONG has invited the Chinese sailors to join Jelik for the Series. Said PONG, 'This would not only offer the sailors the experience of an offshore race, but also the short windward/ leeward races of the President's Cup.'

New Race Tracking System

The 2006 China Sea Race will, for the first time, offershore based fans the opportunity to follow the action online. Pole Star and SkyWave have joined forces to provide a web based tracking facility for the event. SkyWave have supplied all participating boats with one of their DMR 200 units and Pole Star, utilizing their Purplefinder technology will provide the satellite (Inmarsat) based positional data from each boat, which will be updated every two hours during the race. This propels RHKYC's usual twice daily radio reporting schedule into the 21st Century and has obvious safety benefits should any boats lose radio contact with the fleet or retire from the race.

Lindsay LYONS (As Amended By ISAF)
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