The Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam race which runs every two years on the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Sailing Calendar was no match for Steve Manning and Anthony Roots brand new McConaghy Ker 42, Black Baza. The new yacht lived up to her owners high expectations and crossed the finish line with an impressive win to claim both the IRC Racer 1 Division and IRC overall Title, almost three hours ahead of closest rival in IRC, the RP66 Alive.
Joachim Isler and Andrew Taylor’s recently launched McConaghy Mills 41 Ambush took second place in IRC Racer 1 Division, and 6th place in IRC overall, in a race that clearly favoured the bigger boats in the fleet.
The 673 nautical mile race from Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour to Nha Trang in Vietnam is an exciting and hard down wind ride. Black Baza sailed along comfortably with Steve Manning at the helm and his very talented crew by his side, although, at one point, reducing sail to slow the boat down in the stronger, breezier conditions. When Asked what the highlight of the race was for him, Manning responded “it’s hard to say, but probably standing on the back of the boat … correction … helming the boat, flying along at over 20kts”.
Jamie Thompson from McConaghy Boats was fortunate to be part of the team from day one and said that “building and putting together the systems has been an amazing challenge. Then to go and race her offshore for over 600 miles, on a boat that’s only been in the water for 3 weeks and win, bought satisfaction to everyone involved in the process”. He also went on to say that “the boat handles incredibly well and thrives in these conditions and seems to get up on the plane much earlier than any of the other 40-footers around”. Jamie also feels that the way the boat is laid out “systems wise”, is a step forward, and makes sailing her easy – also giving more options for sail handling and trim.
For Jamie, some of the highlights from the race were having the chance to helm for his watch , hitting speeds regularly over 20 knots-plus, The Hong Kong to Vietnam race is a rare chance to have the kite up for 3 days straight and get the most out of the boat.
“To be involved with the Black Baza Team has been a great opportunity. As a new Team, the guys sailed incredibly well together and are a talented bunch. This would have not been possible without Anthony Root, Steve Manning and Wade Morgan’s commitment to the program” Jamie said.