Skandia sets early pace

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 12:00am

Grant Wharington's Skandia took the early lead in the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, which started without incident yesterday at Hong Kong Harbour.

The winner of last year's Sydney to Hobart race dashed straight into the lead in the early going, chased by a pack which included race record-holder Ffree Fire with Sam Chan at the helm.

By yesterday evening, Skandia was some 64 nautical miles away from Hong Kong and a clear eight miles ahead of Ffree Fire. Wind conditions were about 10 knots.

Skandia, which won last weekend's China Coast Regatta, is looking to break Ffree Fire's record - set in 1996.

The Vietnam race is one of Skandia's buildup races for the defence of her Sydney-to-Hobart title in late December.