Ragamuffin. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
by Peter Bourne
Syd Fischer’s 90-ft Maxi Ragamuffin has a commanding lead some 42 hours into the 27th edition of the Rolex China Sea Race. At 09:30 local time, Fischer’s Ragamuffin 90 was 134-nm from the finish line in Subic Bay, The Philippines and closing in on line honours.
Ragamuffin 90 has averaged a steady 10 knots since the start of the race, steadily increasing her lead over the chasing pack. She is expected to complete the 565-nm race in the early hours of Saturday morning. A clutch of 52-ft boats are enjoying an intriguing battle some 100-nm behindRagamuffin 90. TP52 Freefire (HKG) is currently second on the water followed closely by Neil Pryde’s Welbourne 52 Hi Fi (HKG) and Brian Ehrhart’s Lucky (USA), another TP52. The third TP52 - Ernesto Echauz’sStandard Insurance Centennial, the only Philippines entry - opted for a different tactical approach, sailing much further south of the rhumb line, a strategic manoeuvre yet to pay off. Geoff Hill’s 72-ft Antipodes (GBR) is fifth on the water.
The 34-strong fleet also includes Seawolf, whose crew is entirely composed of sailors from mainland China, a first for the race. Seawolf lies 24th on the water, some 327-nm from the finish.
For more detailed information about the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race please visit the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club website at: www.rhkyc.org.hk/rolexchinasearace.aspx