In keeping with seasonal expectations, sunshine and a force 4 to 5 breeze are predicted for Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's 3 day China Coast Regatta which gets underway on Friday 22 October 2004 with a 30-strong entry list.
The competition in IRC Racing A is looking fierce with no one taking bets at this stage on the overall winner out of five windward / leewards and two islands courses. Grant WARRINGTON'S Skandia looks set for Line Honours in each race, but Frank PONG'S Jelik will be snapping at her heels all the way and will have the invaluable benefit of local knowledge. It remains to be seen if Skandia can win races by a big enough margin to keep the 50 footers at bay on corrected time.
Elsewhere in the division, David CULLEN is sure to be looking for a podium finish with chartered DK46 Struan's Drumstick. He and his newly-trained crew are still revelling in their success as the first non-professional crew in their class at Cork Week and look like a force to be reckoned with. With boat and crew preparation being key issues in his Asian Circuit campaigns, Regatta veteran Neil PRYDE'S Hi Fidelity always has winning potential and cannot be discounted.
Also in the running is the winner of the China Coast Regatta in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Fred KINMONTH, sailing the 2004 Regatta with co-owner Nick BURNS on their recently acquired Mills 50 "Mandrake", will need to ensure that crew work is next to perfect in order to replicate his previous results.
There is one Vietnamese entry, chartered Farr 40 HSBC Johan III which will be skippered by Lawson DIXON. The crew consists mainly of expatriates but Vietnamese crew Le Hong Minh will be on board, representing the Title Sponsor of the Vietnam Race.
After China Coast Regatta, China Coast Race Week culminates with the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, commencing 1200hrs on Tuesday 26th October. The 656 nautical mile downhill race will finish in Nha Trang, where the locals have previously seen only one international yacht race.
Full information and entry list are available on the event website at the address below.