Organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), the 2017 edition of this biennial race will feature 16 sailing yachts sailing across four divisions, IRC Racer 0, 1, IRC Cruising and HKPN.
The largest boat in the fleet, Seng Huang Lee’s 100ft Super Maxi Scallywag will be looking to break the monohull race record of 49h 55m 12s set in 2001 by 70’ ULDB Sled, FfreeFire. Chan will be defending his record on his latest TP52 FreeFire, this will be the eighth race for Hong Kong based owner Sam Chan succession of FreeFire’s. Joining Scallywag and FreeFire in IRC Racer 0 is Ernesto Echauz’s TP52 from the Philippines Standard Insurance Centennial.
IRC Racer 1 features a fleet of seven boats Hong Kong rivals Ambush and Mandrake III, with Joachim Isler and Drew Taylor on board their McConaghy-built, Mills 41 and the Nick Burns / Fred Kinmonth owned Sydney GTS43 will push their boats to see who pulls out ahead. Joining this fleet is Singapore’s Jonathan Mahony’s HYD 42 Zanzibar.
In IRC Cruising, first time entry Swan 55 Emocean2 will be raced double handed by owner Christopher Allan and experienced offshore crew Olivier Decamps. Also in IRC Cruising San Fernando Race Committee Chairman’s Peter Churchouse’s Warwick Custom Moonblue 2, Anthony Day’s XC50 Explorer another first time San Fernando skipper Michael Ashbrook on board his Jeanneau 479 Sitka.
Race organisers are hoping for better conditions then the 2015 edition when Typhoon Maysak forced the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club to re-route competitors in the interest of competitor safety. The fleet was sent on a 330nm triangular race of physical and virtual marks, which took the fleet south-west of Hong Kong, leaving the Lemas to starboard, around four virtual way-points in a figure of eight before returning via Dangan Dao to finish at Shek O Rock.
The warning signal for the 2017 San Fernando Race will sound at 1310hrs on Wednesday 12 April, against the backdrop of RHKYC’s Kellett Island Clubhouse in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. Spectators wishing to follow the race can keep up with the yacht movements on Yellowbrick trackers and armchair sailors can race alongside the fleet on Virtual Regatta and SailOnline.org.
Further information about the race is available on the event website.