Lack of wind has caused many retirements on the China Sea Race leaving only 17 boats remaining in the IRC and HKPN

With the wind holding steady at around 12 knots for the fourth day of the China Sea Race, the sailing race is back on again. At 18:00hrs yesterday, Frank Pong’s Jelik and Sam Chan’s Free Fire were neck and neck just 150 nm from Nasugbu Bay, with Free Fire’s approach appearing to hug the Philippine coastline – an attempt to benefit from land / sea breezes.

Andy Soriano’s Swan 80, Maligaya is holding on to a comfortable third place, midway between the leaders and the battle between Bill Rawson’s Helsal II and Neil Pryde’s Hi Fidelity which has been a ongoing battle since the start of the race. Because of the light conditions, there certainly won’t be any new records set this year other than the slowest sailing trip between Hong Kong and Manilla.

Only 17 boats remain in the IRC and HKPN Divisions, with Zephyr joining the cruising and Lady Luck retiring but reported to be catching tuna! This now leaves Groovy and Ocean Girl bringing up the rear of the fleet with an estimated three and a half days to reach the finish line if their patience holds.

Intrigue, Lilla D, Baringo, Irmgard and Zephyr have joined the lengthy list that have turned on their motors, while Beluga Free, Bewitched, Body Shots II, Dolphin Six, Hocux Pocux II, Johan II and Lady Luck have retired.