Known as an active brand in sailing competitions worldwide, Beneteau is now taking us on another racing challenge in Asia!
Our Beneteau Sales Manager, Cosmas Grelon, and his father, Philippe Grelon, will participate in the prestigious Rolex South China Sea Race 2023 starting on the 5th of April in Hong Kong. They will enter as an exciting “father and son” double-handed team sailing on the Beneteau Figaro 3 in the name of Simpson Marine and Beneteau.
The Beneteau Figaro 3 is a high-performance sailing yacht that was designed specifically for solo and short-handed offshore racing. This innovative yacht is the first production monohull in the world to be fitted with foils, which greatly enhances its speed and stability. The Figaro 3 is part of the Beneteau Figaro racing series, which is widely regarded as one of the most competitive and prestigious sailing circuits in the world. With its sleek design, advanced technology, and impressive performance, the Beneteau Figaro 3 is a popular choice for serious sailors who are looking for a world-class racing experience.
The duo recently delivered the boat from Taiwan back to Hong Kong with the help of Simpson Marine Taiwan team, and extensive preparations for the race are now well underway.
“It was a challenging delivery since the boat hasn’t been sailed much back in her home port in Taiwan. On day one of the preparation in Kaohsiung we went out for a sail to familiarise ourselves with the boat and sailing upwind in 15 knots of breeze, and the genoa headfoil broke unexpectedly… On day two, it was the mainsheet system which gave way. On day three, it was time to set sail for Hong Kong – we were not going to be stopped by any these small issues,” relates Cosmas Grelon, Beneteau Sales Manager at Simpson Marine.
The delivery from Kaohsiung to Hong Kong took the team 44 hours with fairly good weather conditions and they clocked a top speed of 18 knots under spinnaker. The amount of fishing boats and traffic out at sea was of particular note. Fortunately, with a reliable AIS system on board the Beneteau, they had clear visibility of the traffic and managed to dodge a couple of close calls.
The “father and son” double-handed team have taken on the Rolex South China Sea Race before in 2018 and thought it would be great to return to the event on board an even more performance oriented boat such as the Beneteau Figaro 3.
The boat is currently lying in Hong Kong Aberdeen and the team have a long list of things to do to optimise the boat ahead of the 600nm race from Hong Kong to Philippines, and they are hoping to get the win in their category.
“There is a lot to consider when going offshore racing, from safety at sea courses and practising man overboard drills, to calculating and preparing all of the nutrition as well as preparing physically for the race. We also need to consider what kind of toilet system we will use, as a fixed toilet is not an option on the Figaro 3 in order to keep her as light as possible,” adds Cosmas.
For the race, the Simpson Marine Beneteau team of Cosmas and Philippe are hoping for strong reaching/downwind conditions which would be optimal for the Figaro 3 due to its unique chistera foils that help to provide lift for the boat when sailing quickly. “In an ideal world, we would like to have 25 knots coming from 120 TWA for the race, but the reality is we can’t control that so we need to be prepared for whatever comes our way,” says Philippe.
The main focus for the team in the lead up to the race is ensuring the boat is strong and safely able to get them to the Philippines by undergoing a series of sea trials in all possible conditions. After that they will optimise the boat for the maximum performance that the Figaro 3 can deliver!
To follow the team there will be a live tracker that can be found on the race website: www.rolexchinasearace.com
27th November 2023
27th November 2023
27th November 2023