Scallywag eyes San Fernando race record

Hong Kong super maxi will be out to slash 16-year-old mark set by Sam Chan’s FfreeFire in 2001

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 8:54pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 10:55pm

Hong Kong’s super maxi Scallywag left Victoria Harbour yesterday for the start of the 40th San Fernando Race with the ambitious crew eyeing the race record.

The 100-foot yacht, owned by Lee Seng Huang, will be out to slice some time off the 2001 record set by

Sam Chan’s 70’ ULDB Sled, FfreeFire of 49 hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds.

Scallywag raced in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s last major offshore race the Volvo Hong Kong to Hainan Race in November and chopped two hours, 22 minutes and 41 seconds off the previous record.

Sallywag was the first boat through the Lei Yun Mun gap and subsequently out of view on the horizon and it made its journey in the 480 mile race across the South China Sea.

Sixteen boats began the race, starting yesterday slightly east of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Kellett Island Clubhouse due to a work area in the harbour.

The warning signal for racing sounded at 1.10pm in eight to 10 knots of due east breeze. The fleet vied for position on the start line in a 10-minute start sequence with all boats getting away cleanly at 1.20pm.

The left side of the harbour seemed to pay off for the only Philippines entry in the Race; Ernesto Echauz’s TP52 Standard Insurance Centennial as well as Hong Kong boats – the Custom Ker 42 Black Baza owned by Steve Manning and Anthony Root and the GTS 43 Mandrake III owned by Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns allowing them to sneak up the fleet.

As the fleet approached Lei Yue Mun, gains and losses were made as the wind dropped to one to two knots and yachts tiptoed along until the breeze filled in again and kites were hoisted in Junk Bay.

With most of the fleet now out of Hong Kong waters the boats navigators will be watching the weather forecast to see how they can best position themselves to take advantage of the strengthening northeast monsoon breeze last night, which could possibly see wind strengths up to 20 to 25 knots of wind.

After three hours of racing Standard Insurance Centennial are in the lead position in IRC 0 and Overall, Black Baza is ahead of the IRC 1 fleet, Michael Ashbrook’s Jeanneau 479 Sitka ahead in IRC Cruising and Tim Bruce’s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49 Diamond Queen is ahead in HKPN.

Spectators will be paying close attention to Yellowbrick trackers through the night to see who can keep their position and who pulls out ahead in the morning.

This year armchair sailors can race alongside the fleet against 18,000+ virtual skippers on Virtual Regatta and/or Sailonline.org.

The San Fernando Race also supports the San Fernando Race Foundation which helps fund the Faith Rescue Home in San Fernando, La Union, Philippines.