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Rolex China Sea Race Day 3- Nail-biting race to the end


The breathless battle for Line Honours that the 62nd Anniversary of Rolex China Sea Race continued well into the third day of racing, Standard Insurance Centennial V and Happy Go at the front of the fleet are separated by a mere six-nautical miles with a little under 100nm to go.

Line Honours defender and Philippines sailing legend Ernesto Echauz on board Standard Insurance Centennial V has the best local knowledge as to how to sail around the Luzon hole. This year he is taking a totally different approach compared to the last edition - they’ve stayed close to rhumb line for almost the entire journey.  Nie Hua’s TP52 Happy Go has opted to sail further south of rhumb line.  Both however will hit the infamous Luzon hole in their final 100nm.

As intriguing as the battle for Line Hours is, the main event is the IRC Overall.  Happy Go is now leading, however Seawolf is chasing from behind. 

In the Premier class, there’s a close tussle between Moonblue 2 and Parnassus, with Moonblue 2 slightly in the lead.

Father and son team Philippe and Cosmas Grelon are leading in the Double-handed division, ahead of Lisa Elaine and Daybreak. Speaking on board A Plastic Ocean, Cosmas Grelon said: "All good on board A Plastic Ocean. First hot meal last night. Fighting fishing nets now as we approach Subic. Light winds but trying to keep up with the bigger boats. All to play for with Luzon gods. “

As the 565nautical mile race entered is third day, the race between the smaller boats was proving to be as scintillating for sailing fans. IRC 3 entry Henning Mueller’s Zesst was sailing even faster than their rivals in Racer 2, over to IRC 2, A Plastic Ocean is leading Nicolas Cohen-Addad’s Jinn.  

Korean entry Random() is now at the back of IRC 3, owner Hojun Song onboard said “Our Genoa sail was torn at the start and repaired. One of new gennakers was torn also and the wind is too light. Lots of things have happened but we are doing fine.”

Over in IRC Cruiser, Noel Chan’s Rampage008 is sailing ahead of Tong Ran and Pacific Sunrise and for PHS, Jibulai is the farthest boat away from the rhumb line - time will tell if their strategy pays off against Blowers Daughter.


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