HONG KONG, April 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Rolex China Sea Race 2023, the first offshore race in Hong Kong since 2019, got underway today at 1120hrs in misty weather and a southerly breeze of around 3 to 5kts.
The fleet gathered before the start at RHKYC’s Kellett Island Clubhouse for a lion dance to wish the competitors a safe journey across the ever-challenging South China Sea. The Honourable Mr Michael Wong, GBS, JP, Deputy Financial Secretary, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Commodore Lucy Sutro and Rolex China Sea Race 2023 Race Chairman Cameron Ferguson were invited to officiate the eye dotting ceremony.
The start line was located in front of the Clubhouse, with Hong Kong’s iconic skyline providing the perfect backdrop for the start of this flagship offshore race. Individual recalls were signaled for Hurricane Hunter and Tong Ran. With SHK Scallywag Fuku withdrawing at the last minute due to engine failure, 18 boats were at the start;, 14 of which are teams from Hong Kong, whilst three are from the Philippines and one from Mainland China.
The fleet headed east towards Lei Yue Mun Gap and ghosted its way through the wind hole at North Point as the southerly breeze was blocked by Hong Kong Island. First through the Lei Yue Mun Gap (the smallest distance between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon) was R/P 75 Standard Insurance Centennial 5, helmed by two-time China Sea Race Overall winner Ernesto Echauz. They were followed shortly after by two TP52s, Rampage 88 and Standard Insurance Centennial 3. After the Gap, the fleet was finally greeted with some fresh breeze and the third TP52 in the fleet, Happy Go, caught up quickly after having had a slow start. As of 1730hrs, Standard Insurance Centennial 5 is at the front of the fleet which is where she’s been from the start and is currently travelling along at around 8.8kts.
As the competitors make their 565nm journey across the South China Sea to Subic Bay, they will be heading south slowly upwind on the first day. A Northeastly breeze is forecasted to fill in by Thursday; hopefully resulting in some Champagne sailing as the fleet make its way towards the Philippines.
High resolution photos can be downloaded from the below link:
Photos credit: ROLEX / Daniel Forster or RHKYC/ Guy Nowell
Raw Footage of the Race 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.