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Catch the 31st Rolex China Sea Race this March

Dating back to April 7, 1962, the Rolex China Sea Race marks its place as the oldest and most prestigious blue-water race in Asia.

In its inaugural year, three yachts from the Hong Kong Royal Yacht Club embarked on a historic 600-mile journey from Hong Kong to Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, tracing the ancient trade routes of the region. Guided by the wake of tradition, these sailors navigated without the aid of radios, relying solely on their skills and intuition. Upon reaching the finish line after six days of intense racing, Chris von Sydow’s Reverie emerged victorious, unaware of their triumph until they reached the shores of Manila. Thus began the legacy of the China Sea Race, held biennially and officially recognised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in 1972.

Over the decades, the race has evolved into a pinnacle event, attracting an international fleet of 23 boats from Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Australia, and China. Notable contenders include the reigning overall winner, Whiskey Jack, and Ernesto Echauz’s Standard Insurance Centennial 5, the Line Honors Winner of 2023. Setting sail from Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, the race spans 565 nautical miles across the South China Sea to Subic Bay in the Philippines. With different classes of boats competing, handicaps are assigned to ensure fair competition, levelling the playing field for both seasoned veterans and newcomers alike.

From its humble beginnings to its present-day grandeur, the China Sea Race stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of adventure and camaraderie in the world of yachting. As sailors embark on this epic journey, they honour a tradition steeped in history while forging new bonds across the seas. The Rolex China Sea Race will set sail on March 27th, 2024.