HONG KONG, April 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club yesterday (3 April) announced the much-anticipated return of the Rolex China Sea Race to Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour after 5 years of absence. 19 boats will be on the start line at 11:20am on 5 April 2023 for the Rolex China Sea Race 2023 and the Race takes competitors 565-nautical miles (1,046 kilometers) across the South China Sea to Subic Bay in the Philippines, considered a real test of sailing skill, energy, persistence and team spirit.
First held in 1962, this year marks the 61st anniversary of this offshore classic, the oldest blue water race in Asia. The biennial China Sea Race has been supported by Rolex since 2008 when it became Title Sponsor. The 565nm Category 1 Offshore Race is run under the auspices of Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). As a committed partner of the most prestigious yacht clubs, institutions and regattas in the world, Rolex shares the highest standards of excellence with the custodians of yachting’s finest spirit.
Sailors are drawn to the Race’s elevated standing as well as the stringent examination of skill and endeavor it presents, its underlying Corinthian spirit and traditions. Three TP52 grand prix racing yachts will be pushing the limits in what is expected to be close racing in this year’s Rolex China Sea Race. This highly competitive group features international entrant Standard Insurance Centennial 3 as well as local teams Rampage 88 and Happy Go. TP52 is famous for its fast speed and high performance. Former Hong Kong team sailors Owen WONG and LAW Yat Fung Dominic together with their former Hong Kong Team Sailing Coach Jono Rankine have regrouped as a ‘dream team’ for the first time since their last race at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games to be part of the crew on Happy Go. With good communications already in place between the core team for so many years, the team is confident to do well in the Race .
Ernesto Echauz’s Rachel Pugh 75 Centennial 5, will be taking part in the boat’s first Rolex China Sea Race, however Ernesto Echauz is no stranger to this flagship offshore race, having participated in nine editions of the race and having his name twice engraved on the China Sea Race Trophy (1998 and 2008). Ernesto Echauz is President of the Philippine Sailing Association and has been actively supporting sailing since 1994 with his Centennial Sailing Team and participated in numerous international offshore races. He said at the press conference that it was great to have the Rolex China Sea Race back after the pandemic. The Rolex China Sea Race is particularly important to sailors in the Philippines because this Race is on most of the sailors’ bucket list.
In terms of Multihull, Meitatsu Fukumoto and Seng Huang Lee’s ORMA 60 sailing trimarans SHK Scallywag Fuku is also set to join their first Rolex China Sea Race. Skipper David Witt, who is an internationally renowned offshore sailor, said in the press conference that it would be quite challenging for him and his crew to beat the Rolex China Sea Race multihull race record of 38h 30m 07s set in 2018 by Karl Kwok on his MOD Beau Geste.
Albert Altura from Philippines will be taking part in his second Rolex China Sea Race on board his Beneteau First 40 CR Hurricane Hunter. His first took part in the Race as a 19-year-old in 1986 racing on Sunset Strip which placed 4th Overall in the IOR division and after that experience he set a personal goal to return to the event as owner/skipper. Altura said that he was given a Rolex Submariner purchased by his father when he turned 25 years old. Since then, this timepiece has been with him in all extreme adventures and throughout all his naval aviation career.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Commodore Lucy Sutro mentioned in her welcome speech that for several decades Rolex has cultivated close associations with the best-known yacht clubs and organisers of major events in the world of sailing. “We are honoured that this Race was the first Asian sailing event sponsored by Rolex and proud that, with their support over the last 15 years, the Race continues to arouse attention within the international yachting fraternity.” she said.
Rolex China Sea Race 2023 Race Chairman Cameron Ferguson gave his thank you speech at the end, giving his heartfelt gratitude to Rolex for their ongoing support of this event and the other yacht races and regattas round the world. He added that ” This year’s race preparation has been particularly challenging. The last race was run back in 2018 with Covid related issues preventing our return until this year. It has taken a huge effort by competitors to prepare the yachts and their crew to race again. But yacht owners and crew have risen to the challenge. Given the long lead times to prepare for such an event and with restrictions only recently being eased, we are delighted to have a wide-ranging list of Hong Kong participants and also entries from mainland China and overseas.”
There are two main prizes at the Rolex China Sea Race. The most coveted accolade is the Rolex China Sea Race Trophy for the overall winner under IRC time correction (handicap). The first boat to cross the finish line on real time (Line Honours) receives the Sunday Telegraph Trophy. A Rolex timepiece will be awarded to the first boat under IRC Overall handicap and first Monohull Line Honours.
For more information about Rolex China Sea Race 2023, please visit www.rolexchinasearace.com.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has officiated a press conference for 2023 Rolex China Sea Race today (April 3), with the commodore of Hong Kong Yacht Club, Lucy Sutro(left), and the Chairman Mr. Cameron Ferguson(right) announcing that the 2023 Rolex China Sea Race will start on April 5.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club today (3 April) announced the strong return of the Rolex China Sea Race 2023 to the Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour. The start of the race will be on 5 April 2023. From left: Albert Altura, Ernesto Echauz, Andrew Taylor, David Witt, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Commodore Lucy Sutro, Rolex China Sea Race 2023 Race Chairman Cameron Ferguson, Happy Go crew Tiger Mok, Owen Wong, Dominic Law and Jono Rankie.
Former Hong Kong team sailors LAW Yat Fung Dominic (1st from left), Owen WONG (2nd from right) and teamed up with their former Hong Kong Team Sailing Coach Jono Rankine (1st from right), this ‘dream team’ regrouped again since their last race at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and aboard the TP52 Happy Go to race at the Rolex China Sea Race.
RCSR23df_036 – Tiger Mok：
RCSR23df_022 – Andrew Taylor：
Both Tiger Mok and Andrew Taylor are the crew on the TP52 Happy Go. Tiger participated in the 2018 Rolex China Sea Race whereas Andrew is an experienced offshore race sailor. Both of them become great assets to the Happy Go crew.
Ernesto Echauz, owner of the R / P 75 “Standard Insurance Centennial 5” from the Philippines, is no stranger to this flagship offshore race, having participated in nine editions of the race and having his name twice engraved on the China Sea Race Trophy (1998 and 2008).
Skipped by David Witt, the ORMA 60 trimaran SHK Scallywag Fuku is also set to join their first edition of the Rolex China Sea Race.
Albert Altura from Philippines will be taking part in his second China Sea Race. Albert Altura’s Beneteau First 40 CR Hurricane Hunter had been travelling afar before Covid hit to hone their offshore racing experience, Hurricane Hunter having attended the 50th Anniversary of Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2018. s
The Rolex China Sea Race fleet depart from Hong Kong to commence the 565-nautical mile offshore race to Subic Bay, The Philippines
Photos credit: ROLEX / Daniel Forster
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Raw Footage of the press conference could be downloaded from the below link:
ABOUT ROYAL HONG KONG YACHT CLUB (RHKYC)
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is one of the oldest and largest sports clubs in Hong Kong, with a rich, colourful history that spans 170 years of community and competitive sailing and rowing. The RHKYC provides training programmes for practitioners of all abilities and ages – both members and non-members – to nurture their development, produce elite athletes capable of competing at the highest levels, and contribute to the growth and popularity of these great pastimes. The Club also organises a full calendar of high-profile local and international race events, helping place Hong Kong firmly on the global sporting map.
ROLEX AND YACHTING
Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. The Swiss watchmaker naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and the brand’s enduring partnership now encompasses the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas, as well as towering figures in the sport, including ground-breaking round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting SailGP global championship in which national teams race identical supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Yacht Club Italiano, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron, among others, are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.
AN UNRIVALLED REPUTATION FOR QUALITY AND EXPERTISE
Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 500 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.
SOURCE Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club