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Sailingfast 2018 2 728x90

Hi Fi IRC champion all over again in the Rolex China Sea Race

by Rolex Media Centre 19 Apr 2014 19:34 BST 16 April 2014

The second major prize of the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race was decided in Subic Bay this morning, as Hi Fi held Bryon Ehrhart's TP52 Lucky to a two minute lead on the water to ensure that Neil Pryde's Welbourne 52 collects the coveted IRC Overall title for the second time in four years.

Unaware of his triumph, as there were boats still racing which could have potentially beaten his handicap corrected time, Pryde was delighted with their race, saying that it was a "fantastic race, probably the best we've ever had. We were in pressure most of the way apart from a couple of very light hours this morning, other than that, we kept moving all the time."

Ehrhart was equally enthusiastic, claiming that this year's Rolex China Sea Race was "the classic we were promised. It was great the whole way with great competition as expected. We don't know how it all shakes out (regarding IRC) but we had a great race and lots of fun. There was very strong competition from the TP52's and the Santa Cruz.. and the Welbourne 52, I don't think we lost sight of them for the whole race."

Geoff Hill of Antipodes echoed those sentiments saying " It was fantastic that you could start with four boats (in Hong Kong) and finish with those four boats within 1nm of each other – that's champagne sailing!"

The IRC Racer 0 boats certainly made light of the pre-race forecast, with Ernesto Echauz, bringing home Standard Insurance Centennial mid-afternoon, commenting that his race highlight was that "in 20 years of CSR, this is the fastest we have done the race, (including the record setting year of 2000) and even though we finished last on the water in division, it was a very fast race – unbelievable that we only stopped for a short time near the finish boat."

With six boats home, the remaining 28 from four divisions will continue to race towards Subic Bay, with the IRC Premier boats expected to cross the line at around midnight tonight, and Racer 1 to start arriving towards dawn and throughout Sunday.

All boats are carrying a Yellowbrick tracker unit, which will report positions every 30 minutes (www.rhkyc.org.hk/RCSR2014tracking.aspx), while the race will feature for the first time as a virtual race on Sailonline.org.

For more information about the Rolex China Sea Race, please visit www.rolexchinasearace.com

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