The 2016 Rolex China Sea Race will start on Wednesday 23 March at 13:20 hours (HKT) in Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour and will finish 565-nm later in Subic Bay in the Philippines.
The Notice of Race has been published at www.rolexchinasearace.com and entries are open, with the all-Chinese crew of A40RC, Seawolf, one of the first to book their place on the start line. Having finished fourth in IRC Racer 2 division in the 2014 edition of the race, Y.F. Liu’s Seawolf is targeting a top three finish in 2016.
The year 2016 marks the 28th 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 clubs in Hong Kong. Rolex has partnered the Club since 2007, as well as its flagship race the Rolex China Sea Race since 2008. One of the highlights for the Club will be hosting local and overseas boats at its Kellett Island base prior to the start.
The China Sea Race is renowned for its tactical challenges, requiring skill and training to succeed. The competing yachts negotiate both traditional and modern sea traffic before embarking on the open water section of the course to Subic Bay. The first night is rarely for the faint-hearted: lumpy seas and a stiff breeze often characterize these early stages. In contrast, the race frequently finishes with gentle winds, adding to the test of seamanship. Seawolf treated her 2014 inaugural race as a learning process, acknowledging that the crew needed to work on “better understanding the weather and wind direction, as well as more detailed consideration when choosing the route.”
The Seawolf crew for the 2016 edition will be more or less the same, fuelled by a shared fascination for the open sea and the unique challenges found only in offshore racing.
Simon Powell, Chairman of the race organising committee said “it’s fantastic to see Seawolf return to compete in this premier event. After a great showing by the all-Chinese crew in the last edition in 2014, they are the first Chinese boat to enter this edition, and by all accounts are a boat to watch this year. Given the growing popularity of sailing in China we are expecting an increased number of Chinese entries, to expand the already strong fleet making the 565-nm race”.
Asia’s principal blue water race has retained the original Corinthian ethos that lies at the heart of Rolex’s relationship with the sport, and is especially captivating thanks to a race start from Victoria Harbour, surrounded by the city’s impressive high-rise panaroma.
– RHKYC Media