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Sailing: Beau Geste smashes Hong Kong to Hainan Race record

Team Beau Geste pictured in Hong Kong before finishing the Audi Hong Kong to Hainan Race in under 26 hours and setting a new record. Photos: RHKYC / Guy Nowell.

Team Beau Geste pictured in Hong Kong before finishing the Audi Hong Kong to Hainan Race in under 26 hours and setting a new record. Photos: RHKYC / Guy Nowell.

October 17, 2014: Karl Kwok’sTeam Beau Geste won line honours in the 380-nautical-mile Audi Hong Kong to Hainan Race after finishing in 25 hours 54 minutes 33 seconds to smash FreeFire’s 2012 record – for a shorter route – by 2:49:21.

 

The time was even more impressive considering the force 5-6 northeasterly that blew throughout the race and when asked how the race had been for Team Beau Geste, Boat Captain Cameron Ward answered in a word: “Wet!”

 

“The boat is designed for inshore sailing, but we thought we’d try her out,” added Ward, whose boat won IRC Racer 0. “It was a tough race – none of us slept for the whole night. We just kept working as it was the only way to stay in front of the other boats. It was a great race – fun, warm and downwind, so it was fantastic.”

 

FreeFire arriving second on the water and finished second in IRC Racer 0, with Sam Chan philosophical about losing the record he had set just two years before.

 

“We’ve held the record twice with two different boats and every time we come here we enjoy the sailing,” said Chan, who was competing in the race for the fifth time and the second in his current boat. And given that FreeFire replaced her mast and was re-rated in less than 48 hours, it was an achievement that she reached Sanya at all.

 

Ray Roberts’ OneSails Racing was the third and final boat in IRC Racer 0, finishing just over 40 minutes behind FreeFire. Fresh from his victory in the Audi China Coast Regatta, Roberts was generous in his assessment of Beau Geste’s race, while admitting that he may have made a tactical error.

 

“It was a very exciting downwind race. We really love these warm sailing conditions compared to the Sydney Hobart,” Roberts said. “I think we gybed in off the seaward side of the course a bit too early and that probably cost us the race but, no excuses, we gave it our best shot and Beau Geste put in a very good performance.”

 

With all the IRC Racer 0 boats now finished and no discards from the series allowed, Kwok and Team Beau Geste reversed the tables to take the divisional silverware for China Coast Race Week.

 

For more information, visit: www.rhkyc.org.hk/hkhainanrace.aspx

 

Source: RHKYC (www.rhkyc.org); Editing by SportAsia

 

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