Hong Kong to Vietnam Race

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s biennial Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, a 673-nautical-mile passage down to Nha Trang on the south-eastern coast of Vietnam will start on the 15th and 16th of October. The race is both physically and tactically challenging; predominantly downwind in 25 to 30 knots with current, shifts and exclusion zones to account for before dealing with the vagaries of Nha Trang Bay. 

This year marks the 9th edition of the race and, to date, nine entries have been received, including Meitatsu Fukumoto and Seng Huang Lee’s ORMA 60 trimaran, SHK Scallywag Fuku. There is no doubt that any attempt to break the race record will be a pleasure to watch – the current record of 42 hours 17 minutes and 24 seconds was set in 2015 by Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100, clocking an average VMG of 15.8 knots.

The start is split over two days with the slower IRC Racer 2 and IRC Cruiser divisions setting out first and IRC 1, 0 and the MOCRA Multihull Class starting 24 hours later. The sequence acts predominantly as a safety measure with the bigger boats coming up behind the smaller fleet for support should they get into trouble. An added feature is having all the boats converge as they head into the finish in Nha Trang for the prizegiving celebrations.

For those that have sailed in the Vietnam Race, it’s one they keep coming back to as summed up by the skipper of Alive, Duncan Hine, on arrival in Nha Trang in 2017. Alive had just taken line honours. “It was wonderful. The race is the best, this is our second time and I'm sure we will be back.” Alive was also the IRC Overall Winner in the 2018 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Race chairman, Joachim Isler, said: “Without question this is one of the most rewarding offshore races on the planet. Downwind surfing for almost 700nm in 20-30 knots and tropical temperatures – it doesn’t get better than that. The race is very special, unique.”

The Hong Kong to Vietnam Race is recognised as a qualifier for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

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