Full Metal Jacket. Foto: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Rolex China Sea fleet halfway to Philippines;
TP52 Strewth loses keel
March 21, 2008
Enjoying a favourable breeze, the Rolex China Sea Fleet was a little more than halfway along the racecourse today. The first night was not without its’ drama though – at 0400 this morning, the TP52 Strewth reported via satellite phone to race officials that they had lost the keel and bulb. All crew onboard are safe. The boat remained upright and watertight, and the crew have moved all heavy equipment down as low as possible in the bilge, and have filled their tanks with sea water to add stability. They have also unshipped the boom and stowed it below.
Strewth was 170 nautical miles east-southeast from Hong Kong and is now motoring back to Hong Kong at 3.5 knots. The Beneteau 44.7 Cloud diverted to Strewth’s position and has been standing by to offer assistance.
Meanwhile, in IRC Racing Division, the frontrunners – Ffreefire, Hi Fi, Fortis Mandrake, and Full Metal Jacket are all within 30 miles of each other in about 12 knots of wind, with Ffreefire leading, currently making nine knots. With approximately 270 miles to go, the boats are due to the finish in Subic Bay on Saturday (March 22nd) early evening.
In the Cruising Division, Peter Churchouse’s Moonblue II leads their division overall in front of Shatoosh, though the IRC Performance Cruising Division is also closely grouped.
The updated weather forecast has easterly winds, force 4 (11-16 knots) in area C, west of the Philippine coast.
Shore-based fans can follow the action online at www.rolexchinasearace.com as they are using PurpleFinder technology to provide satellite positioning from each boat, which will be updated every two hours during the race.
This Asian blue-water classic has become part of Rolex’s distinguished portfolio of international offshore races under a long-term partnership between Rolex and the RHKYC that commenced in 2007. The Rolex China Sea Race joins other prestigious Rolex-sponsored 2008 events including the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Swan Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race, and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Hi Fi. Foto: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi