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GTS43 Walalwala2 set for Vietnam Race Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race - starts 17 October

Walawala 2, a Sydney GTS43 owned since new by Steve Manning for one and a half years is a Singapore entry into this year's Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race which starts on 17 October.

photo: Anne Sophie Maestracci -

They are in the Race to win it and are motivated to drive hard to achieve this. Whilst there are ten on board for the Race (hailing from New Zealand, the UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong), they usually race inshore with 12 to 13 on the crew.

The team has raced together on Walawala 2 at a number of the big Asian events, but October's crew have been selected based on offshore experience - everyone knows the boat well and has a great time sailing together.

The notables on board are Steve Trebitsch (tactics) and Magnus Doole (cockpit) - both from North Sails - they are integrally involved in the Walawala 2 programme and sail design. There's also New Zealander Dan Jowett on the bow. The rest of the team is made up of well known sailors in the region. The youngest on board is Akira Sakai at 21 and Steve Manning himself is the eldest at 53.

This is the first Cat 1 offshore for Walawala 2. The previous Walawala took part in RHKYC's China Sea, San Fernando and Hainan Races. Sister ship Occasional Course Language based in Sydney was first in class in the 2012 Rolex to Sydney Sydney Hobart Race.

The Hong Kong to Vietnam Race is in fact only the second long offshore for any Sydney GTS43. Says Steve, "The Vietnam Race will be the first opportunity to enter a long distance race since new, and one in which the boat will really be able to stretch her legs. All the team is really keen to join this Race specifically because of the fun downwind opportunity. In the bigger picture it's part of an extended two year programme that integrates well with AYGP circuit.

Also it's not upwind for four days, which is a very good reason to select this race." We race for the excitement of close competition and camaraderie on board. It's a great team of friends and that's why we enjoy sailing together. The boat is designed to take advantage of a good downhill blow and it will be a great opportunity to see how sailing in this mode plays out both for the boat and on the crew.

The extra thrill is in lining up against some tremendous competition. It will create excitement before the race, and hopefully translate into a thrilling race." adds Steve.

Event website > click here
Facebook page > click here
Virtual Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam Race > click here
Yellowbrick tracking > click here
For full updated results > click here

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