Speed setting

One of the world’s best IRC racing yachts has used a big race in Asia to tune-up for her Rolex Sydney Hobart campaign.

24 October 2017


Top Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino dominated the Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam race, winning the 673 nautical mile event on the IRC Racer Zero division and IRC Racer Overall.

Mascalzone Latino owner Vincenzo Onorato commented on the race on arrival, “It’s the very first time we have joined the Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. It was amazing because we did the race in 53h 26m 31s and we did around 770 nautical miles actual distance sailed – unbelievable! The only ‘low’ of the race was to just keep drinking water, there was no beer on board. The biggest high – we had a top speed of 30 knots; unbelievable.”

Adrian Stead, Mascalzone Latino’s afterguard said “Our race started with a tricky beat out of Hong Kong harbour having a good battle with the 66 foot Alive. Once clear of the mainland we were onto the spinnakers and sailed over 95 per cent of the race with either full size masthead spinnakers or fractional set.



“How was it? Fun, wet both on deck and below. Lots of darkness with no moon. Great waves and fishing boats to avoid! Top speed – somewhere around 28 knots but not sure as the speedo was out of the water a few times! 5-6 knots of current sometimes ripping along the Vietnamese coast. Warm water so every wave felt like a shower.

“This race was a great warm up for our team for the December Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. We learnt a lot of things about the boat, its performance and how we worked together as a team. The guys did a great job and very proud to win another offshore classic race with Mascalzone Latino”.

Ian Moore, Mascalzone Latino’s navigator said “The Volvo Hong Kong Vietnam race really lived up to its reputation as an exciting and challenging downwind thriller.

“The start is amazing with the background of sky scrapers but the real challenges were waiting for us outside. The North East Monsoon was in full flow and quickly brought us winds of 20-30 knots.

“It can be easy in these conditions to push too hard and break gear or sails early but we did a good job of managing our assets through the first night and then pushing really hard on the second day and second night. It was a tough race as a navigator, trying to find the expected wind shifts and make the most of the strong current that runs along the Vietnam coastline. I was lucky enough to do the race 4 years ago but it was fantastic to return with Vincenzo and the Mascalzone Latino team”.

Australian entry, Phillip Turner’s Reichel/Pugh 66 Alive, took line honours, arriving in Nha Trang, Vietnam on a two sail reach, after a very quick mainly downwind race.

Duncan Hine, skipper of Alive commented on the race. “It was a lot of fun; we had a good time.  There wasn’t quite enough breeze to surf all the way but it was enough to blow out our A3/4 which meant that we didn’t VMG run as well as we would have liked to so we had to change our race route – we did a few extra miles.  No real lows of the race; we didn’t wipe out or anything.

“It was wet but it was wonderful.  I always tell all the guys, don’t bring your pants with you; a light jacket is all you need and that was definitely the case this time.  A lot of the fellas didn’t put on a jacket.  There were too many highs in the Race to mention.  The Race is the best this is our second-time racing in it and I’m sure we will be back.”

Mascalzone Latino, which was overall winner of last year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race is now on her way south, ahead of an appointment of the start line on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26.


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