Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Rolex China Sea Race - Sailing classic returns

by KPMS on 16 Apr 2014
Rolex China Sea Race 2012 - Genuine Risk RHKYC / Guy Nowell
Final preparations are underway for the 27th Rolex China Sea Race, Asia’s principal offshore competition which gets underway on Wednesday, 16 April. A fleet of 34 yachts from eight countries are expected to make the start line in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong ahead of a 565-nm race through the South China Sea to Subic Bay, The Philippines.

'The Rolex China Sea Race is without question our most important and best known offshore race,' explained Joachim Isler, Commodore of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. 'We have competitors from all over the world and it is the first time we have broken the 30-boat threshold in this millennium. We are delighted to see that. In terms of conditions, it should be a medium to light race. It could get tough for the crews in terms of patience at points of very light airs.' Isler, also co-skipper of the 41-ft Ambush, will be taking part in the race for the eighth time.

Among the international entrants is the predominantly American crew onboard Brian Ehrhart’s TP52 Lucky, overall winner of the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race. The Lucky crew includes Australian navigator Adrienne Cahalan, multiple line honours winner at the Rolex Sydney Hobart onboard the all-conquering 100-ft Maxi Wild Oats XI. 'This is my first time doing the race and indeed sailing in Hong Kong, The Philippines or the South China Sea,' revealed Cahalan. 'I’ve sailed with the team before and there is a nice fleet of TP52s, so we’re looking forward to good close, racing.' Lucky will face strong competition on the water from two TP52 rivals Freefire and Standard Insurance Centennial, the latter skippered by Ernesto Echauz (overall winner in 1998 and 2008).

Geoff Hill skippered Genuine Risk to line honours in 2012 and is aiming for a repeat performance this time onboard 72-ft Antipodes (GBR). 'This is a real ocean race in the true sense of the word,' explained Hill. 'It’s very challenging in terms of the conditions and a true test of seamanship and experience.' Genuine Risk remains favourite for line honours in 2014 although under its new guise as the Syd Fischer-skippered Ragamuffin 90.

The defending champion is Jonathan Mahony’s Humphreys 42 Zanzibar, keen to start off where she finished in 2012. 'We signed up for the 2014 race within half an hour of the posting of the Notice of Race,' explained Mahony. 'We’ve sailed together for ten years or more and we know each other quite well. Usually in this race you start off with the cold weather in Hong Kong, it is a bit chilly, a bit windy, then it gets warmer and warmer.' No boat has successfully defended its Rolex China Sea Race title since the mid-1960s, a daunting challenge as Mahony admits: 'The odds are probably against us as the fleet is larger and stronger this time around and includes many former winners.'


One of those former winners is Rolex China Sea Race veteran Neil Pryde who first competed in the race in 1968 and is aiming to add to his impressive haul of Rolex China Sea Race honours which includes two overall and two line honours victories. 'Line honours is probably out of reach considering we have two much bigger boats in the fleet this year but we are certainly looking for a podium position and overall first place is definitely on the agenda,' said Pryde, owner of the Welbourne 52 Hi Fi.

The course record to beat was set by Karl Kwok on his Volvo 60 Beau Geste (elapsed time 47 hours, 43 minutes and seven seconds) in 2000.

The 2014 Rolex China Sea Race commences at 13:20 local time tomorrow. The race is organized by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) and has been sponsored by Rolex since 2008. The latest entry list is available here

Event Programme

Wednesday, 16 April

13:20 Race start, Victoria Harbour – Hong Kong

Sunday, 20 April
17:00 Location prizegiving, Subic Bay Yacht Club, The Philippines

Wednesday, 30 April
19:00 – 21:00 Final prizegiving, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

All times listed are local

For more detailed information about the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race including race documents and the current entry list please visit the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club website.

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82RS Sailing 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

RC44 Sotogrande Cup – Rain does not stay on the plain
Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two. While the wind was not excessive Even as RC44 crews and race management surfaced for their breakfast this morning, it was evident that the onshore easterly breeze, that had been blowing all night, had caused the sea state to build to the extent that waves were already breaking over the harbour wall.
Posted on 28 Apr
28th May announced as the America’s Cup Endeavour Day
The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program, dedicated to inspiring everybody who engages with the initiative and to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.
Posted on 28 Apr
Challenging Qingdao tests Extreme Sailing Series fleet in Act 2 opener
As the fleet of seven crews hit the water the wind was down to just a couple of knots, delaying the start of racing. China's Olympic Sailing City is renowned for its tricky weather conditions that can catch sailors off guard with sudden changes – and the opening day of Act 2 Qingdao 'Mazarin Cup' was a prime example.
Posted on 28 Apr
Extreme Sailing Series – Team Oman Air promise to bounce back
Qingdao is notorious for delivering tricky conditions that can change in an instant, and that's just what happened today After almost two hours of bobbing around waiting for enough wind to allow action to commence, a solid 15-knot breeze swept over the seven-strong fleet allowing three races to be held.
Posted on 28 Apr
RC44 PRO earns his bucks on snakes and ladders opening day
Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Sotogrande, Spain laid on a tricky first day of the 2017 RC44 Championship. Nonetheless Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio read his crystal ball well enough to stage four races on this course which uniquely has Europe, Gibraltar and North Africa as a backdrop.
Posted on 28 Apr
North Sails - 60 years of sailmaking - 1986 12 Metre Worlds
In early 1986, a series of races were held off of Fremantle as a precursor to the 1987 America’s Cup. In early 1986, a series of races were held off of Fremantle as a precursor to the 1987 America’s Cup. Dubbed the 12 Metre World Championship, a dozen syndicates competed in what they considered a “shakedown series” to test their boats against the competition. Some of the teams had new builds, their first development boats.
Posted on 27 Apr
Heiner's consistency pays dividends in Sailing World Cup Hyères
Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn. Out of the 534 racers from 52 nations, racing across the ten Olympic events, Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn.
Posted on 27 Apr
The world of sailing comes to Antigua Sailing Week
A staggering number of sailors from worldwide are descending on the Caribbean Antigua island to celebrate 50th edition. About 1,500 competitors from 32 countries will enjoy five days of world class racing, preceded by the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race and the Peters and May Round Antigua Race.
Posted on 27 Apr
KELME City Club Open Regatta completed successfully
City Clubs Open Regatta International, known as CCOR started its first event in 2010 and this is her eighth year in 2017 This year, there are five fleet racing events and three radio sailing events in CCOR. The fleet racing classes are FE26, FE28R, FE19R, and Open Group A and B which uses the World Sailing – international empirical handicap scheme.
Posted on 27 Apr
New faces in town with RC44 Sotogrande Cup set to begin
This event follows from last season's RC44 World Championship also held off this magnificent development Of the eight teams competing off Sotogrande, favourite is Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. Not only is the cockpit on the Slovenian RC44 adorned with the overall championship leader's 'golden wheels', but Lah's team also won the World Championship here in 2016.
Posted on 26 Apr