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Rolex China Sea Race 2020: 30th edition of Asia's blue water classic

by RHKYC media 17 Dec 2018 20:09 PST 8 April 2020
Gathered for the fray. Rolex China Sea Race 2018. © photo RHKYC / Guy Nowell

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has released the Notice of Race (English and Chinese) and opened entry for the 58th Anniversary of the Rolex China Sea Race. The Race will start on 8 April 2020 in Hong Kongs iconic harbour and take competitors 565nm across the South China Sea to Subic Bay in the Philippines.

2020 marks the 30th edition of this biennial Offshore Category 1 Race organised by the multi-faceted and cosmopolitan Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in Hong Kong. Rolex has partnered with the Club since 2007, as well as its flagship Race, the Rolex China Sea Race, since 2008.

As a blue water race, it has a bit of everything from a spectacular start in Hong Kong harbour, through the lumpy, challenging conditions on the first night to the deep blue water as you near the northern Philippines. On paper, this event might look like a drag race with a predominant easterly breeze and trade winds of 70 to 90 degrees, but the reality is often different with the infamous Luzon hole often causing the fleet to compress and effectively restart as they near the coast of the Philippines. The net result is that many boats that have the chance of lifting the trophy under IRC all depending on how they play their approach to the Philippines.

29 yachts from seven territories raced in the 2018 edition, with 266 sailors hailing from 22 territories including, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Germany, Philippines, France, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns GTS 43 Mandrake III took the IRC Overall win in the 2018 edition; this was the second overall win (2006) for the longtime competitor. Karl Kwoks MOD Beau Geste 70 took Line Honours and broke the race record which now stands at an impressive 38h 30m 07s. 2018 also marked Kwoks third Line Honours win and record-breaking race, having sailed his way to victory in both the 1996 and 2000 editions.

The Notice of Race can be found on the official Rolex China Sea Race website at the following link www.rolexchinasearace.com/competitors

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