Black Baza Triumphs At Audi's HK To Vietnam Race
Published: Thursday, 22 October 2015
The Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam (Oct 15-19) 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.
(Photos: Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club)
The new yacht lived up to her owner’s 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 favoured the bigger boats in the fleet.
The 673 nautical mile race from Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour to Nha Trang, Vietnam is an exciting and hard down wind ride.
Black Baza sailed along comfortably with Steve Manning at the helm and his crew by his side. At one point in the race, the crew reduced the sail to slow the boat down in stronger, breezier conditions.
When asked what the highlight of the race was for Manning, he responded “it’s hard to say, but probably standing on the back of the boat ... correction ... helming the boat, flying along at over 20 knots.”
Jamie Thompson from McConaghy Boats felt fortunate to be part of the team from day one.
“Building and putting together the systems has been an amazing challenge,” says Thompson. “Then to go and race her offshore for over 600 miles, on a boat that’s only been in the water for three weeks and win, brought satisfaction to everyone involved in the process.”
He also went on to say “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.”
For Thompson, some of the highlights from the race were having the chance to helm for his watch and hitting speeds regularly over 20 knots plus.
“To be involved with the Black Baza team has been a great opportunity,” says Thompson. “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.”