Standard Insurance Centennial 5 claims Rolex China Sea Race 2023 Line Honours
This afternoon at 12hrs 45mins 47sec, Ernesto Echauz's Standard Insurance Centennial 5 crossed the finish in Subic Bay with an elapsed time of 3d 1h 25m 47s, marking the first time in its 61-year history that a Philippines entry has taken Line Honours at the Rolex China Sea Race.
Even though this was the first time the Reichel/Pugh 75 participated in the race, its skipper Ernesto Echauz has competed in nine previous editions of the Race and has had his name twice engraved China Sea Trophy (1998 and 2008).
Standard Insurance Centennial 5 was the first boat to cross the start line and lead the fleet out of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour and maintained her very comfortable lead throughout the race.
On winning Line Honours, a jubilant Ernesto Erchauz said “It's very historical! It's the first time that a Philippines boat has won Line Honours at the Rolex China Sea Race. It's such a prestigious race for us. In the 2008 edition when we won IRC Overall, the advice we had been given ahead of the Race was that if we don't go south of the rhumb line right away, there will be a large hole. So, this year again that's what we did and as soon as we had the opportunity, we worked on the VMG and right away headed south. Then we went east to take advantage of the north-easterly along the Luzon coast. But entering Subic you can't do anything about the lack of wind so we got stuck and you just do your best but overall, we're happy with our strategy. There was also some luck for us. Thank you to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club for organising this event, this is the best offshore race in Asia."
As the rest of the fleet converge on Subic Bay, there have been major changes on the leader board since last night. Father and son team, Philippe and Cosmas Grelon on Figaro 3 Simpson Marine has moved up the ladder to first position in IRC Overall. With the shutdown of sea breeze in the area of Luzon in the evening, any team can move up the ladder. It’ll be down to how skippers keep their boats moving through the very light breeze.
The next boat expected to arrive is TP52 Rampage 88 followed by the rest of the IRC 0 fleet including the other two TPs Happy Go and Standard Insurance Centennial 3.