Thursday 17 April marks the start of the 2003 San Fernando Race. The 480nm race from Hong Kong to the Philippines welcomes the eight boats of Clipper 2002, who have integrated the race into their bi-annual circumnavigation series.
They will join a fleet of approximately 40 Hong Kong / Asia-Pacific based cruisers, which will compete under IRC or HKPN handicap in this RORC Offshore Special Regulations Category 1 event.
Appropriately, given Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's involvement with the Clipper fleet, the 2003 San Fernando race sees the inauguration of the IRC Double Handed Division, offering the thrill and challenge of short-handed racing to the region's more adventurous sailors whilst retaining the safety and seamanship in the discipline.
The current monohull line honours record, 49:55:12, was set by Sam Chan's Ffree Fire in 2001, with Benoit Lesaffre's multihull, Atmosphere recording a time of 49:55:12. The 2001 Clipper Division was won by Jersey in an elapsed time of 69:42:53, over an hour ahead of London. The competition will be fierce in 2003, with the multihulls battling it out with Ffree Fire and the performance of Frank Pong's new acquisition, the Farr-Mills 50' Mandrake, being watched with interest.
No race would be complete without the parties, and the San Fernando Race is no exception, with competitors not only enjoying the usual pre and post race parties, but also supporting a charity dinner in aid of the San Fernando orphanage sponsored by the Race Committee.
For further information about the San Fernando race please e-mail Ailsa Angus AANGUS@rhkyc.org.hk
or call +852 2239 0362.