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Rolex Sydney Hobart Race with an Asian Prospective…
Amongst the ninety teams taking part this year, there are 3 from China, one each from Japan and Korea, plus three that have strong ties to racing in Asian waters. Hong Kong’s Seng Huang Lee’s first attempt on the 100ft Scallywag skippered by David Witt and Syd Fischer’s ex Ragamuffin 100 crew, will be fighting it out for line honours, with race favourite Wild Oats XI, Perpetual Loyal and Ludde Ingvall’s re-modeled and re-named CQS.
The Chinese team on Bin Wang’s Cookson 50 UBox, jointly skippered by Charles Caudrelier & Lei Wang with crew from the VOR Dongfeng Race Team onboard, to send them on the way. China’s Noah’s Yacht Club TP52 Ark 323 skippered by Dong Qing have been training hard in Sydney, to overcome the disappointing start line crash last year. The mid-size or 50ft fleet are covered by Japan’s Yoshihiko Murase Humphreys 54 KLC Bengal 7 and Korean Kwangmin ‘Andrew’ Rho’s TP52 Sonic going for Overall IRC and Class handicap hounors, to win the Tattersall’s Cup and take home the engraved Rolex timepiece awarded to the race’s overall winner.
Also three to watch, with strong links to racing in Asian waters and have a good record on the Hobart Race, are Karl Kwok’s Kiwi registered Botin 80 Beau Geste skippered by Aaron Rowe this year, have won before in 1997. Regularly competing on the Asian Circuit since 1995, Ray Roberts finished 2nd in 2008, this time is racing Farr 55, Hollywood Boulevard (Ex Living Doll) and won’t give up until he wins one race. Some of the crew on Bruce Taylor’s Caprice 40, Chutzpah, son Drew Taylor and Peter Fletcher have strong ties to Hong Kong and regularly race on the Asian Circuit, would like to go one better than 2nd overall last year.
Long range weather predictions, indicate a solid north-easterly at start time, so the yachts should enjoy a fast downwind sleigh ride, south from Sydney. ’tis the season after all.’ Although practice, planning and execution are key to winning, one of the epic blue water races in the world, from past experience, go easy on the rice dishes and Christmas celebrations, as you might see it all come back up and go overboard. A true test of skill, stamina and seamanship, comes with the weather conditions and will put all crews to the ultimate test.
The start at 1300 AEST (10:00am East Asia) on Boxing Day, 26th Dec. Check out the start line action from 12:30pm AEST (09:30am East Asia) on the Seven Network in Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7.
Internationally on the Australia Plus Network (Astro Channel 521 Malaysia) Goto live tracking throughout the race at the official CYCA – Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 website. Also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rshyr and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RolexSydneyHobart
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