Rolex China Sea Race – One Month to Go! 「勞力士中國海帆船賽」 – 一個月後啟航!

February 28, 2018

MOD Beau Geste images: Team Beau Geste 圖片來源: Team Beau Geste


Karl Kwok returns to the Rolex China Sea Race to break his record!

 兩屆「勞力士中國海帆船賽」總冠軍及衝線冠軍得主郭志樑強勢回歸 勢要再破個人紀錄


The Rolex China Sea Race has retained the original Corinthian ethos that lies at the heart of title-sponsor Rolex’s 60-year relationship with yachting. As partner to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, organisers of the Rolex China Sea Race, the ties between Rolex and this offshore classic are natural and based on the Swiss watchmaker’s ongoing support for individual excellence. The Rolex China Sea Race capitalises on Hong Kong’s distinctive energy, with a race start in Victoria Harbour surrounded by the city’s impressive high-rise panorama. The competing yachts negotiate both traditional and modern sea traffic before embarking on the open water section of the 565-nautical mile course to Subic Bay in the Philippines.


Hong Kong native and successful businessman, Karl Kwok is the only owner in Rolex China Sea Race history to have won both Overall and Line Honours in two editions of the race.  Kwok started competitive sailing when he joined the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in 1975 and embarked on his first Rolex China Sea Race on a Dubois 37 HINYUAN II with partner Gaston Chan in 1982.


In the 2000 edition, Kwok bested his own Farr ILC40’ Beau Geste 1996 record by an incredible 28h 10m 49s on his Whitbred 60 Beau Geste.  He held this epic Rolex China Sea Race record of 47h 43m 07s for an incredible 16 years until Alive, a Reichel/Pugh 66, broke it by a mere 11m 59s in the 2016 edition.


We caught up with Kwok, who has just come out of a successful Pic Coastal Classic and Bay of Islands Sailing Week in New Zealand, on switching to multihulls and his preparation going into the Rolex China Sea Race.. “We have been learning the ins and outs of the MOD in New Zealand racing other world class teams. We have a lot of respect for this boat. This has been the perfect build up to the Rolex China Sea Race.  New Zealand is a very good location to work on your multihull skills thanks to so much talent around from sailing to service work. With that in mind, we have had a very structured process to learn the MOD.  It has been extremely enjoyable and in many ways like learning to sail again.”


Joining Kwok on board will be his regular team of experienced world class sailors who have been on the MOD over the past six month including tactician (New Zealand America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailor) Gavin Brady, navigator (British five time Volvo Ocean Race sailor) Matthew Humphries as well as RHKYC sailors Margaret Chan and Patrick Kong.


This year Beau Geste will be sailing under the HKPN rating (Hong Kong Performance Number) instead of IRC and will be in contention for the race record and line-honours.  With Kwok’s success in past races we asked if he had any advice for the sailors, “Rolex China Sea Race is a very tactical offshore race. Having a solid plan before the start with small adjustments along the race course shall be the key to success.”   


MOD Beau Geste will join the already 32-strong entry list with boats hailing from six territories including Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Mainland China, USA and Hong Kong.   Among the 2018 lineup are Alive, the 2016 Line Honours and 2nd Overall winner; the famous classic yacht Dorade, built in 1929 and which recently completed the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race; several China entries including Seawolf, Shanghai 141237, Tong Ran and UBOX; and a father-son double-handed team on AYA.


MOD Beau Geste

圖片來源: Team Beau Geste

距離「2018勞力士中國海帆船賽」啟航日子只有1個月時間,曾奪兩屆「勞力士中國海帆船賽」總冠軍及衝線冠軍得主郭志樑﹙Karl Kwok﹚已經整裝待發,並將帶同全新的統一設計MOD70型三體帆船 Beau Geste號參與賽事,務求再破個人最佳成績。


「勞力士中國海帆船賽」保留了科林斯精神,亦即冠名贊助商勞力士與帆船運動60年緊密合作的核心理念。作為「勞力士中國海帆船賽」主辦機構香港遊艇會的合作伙伴,瑞士高級腕錶品牌勞力士與此項經典離岸賽的目標一致,攜手致力追求卓越表現。「勞力士中國海帆船賽」以維多利亞港作起點,港口兩岸高樓聳立的宏偉景觀,充份展現香港的獨有活力。參賽帆船將先駛經傳統和現代航線,繼而開展565海里的公海航程,開往菲律賓的蘇碧灣(Subic Bay)。


在「勞力士中國海帆船賽」的歷史上,只有郭志樑是唯一一位船主同時奪得兩屆總冠軍及衝線冠軍的榮銜。郭志樑在1975年加入香港遊艇會,展開他的航海生涯,並於1982年首次夥拍Gaston Chan參加「勞力士中國海帆船賽」,而當年的賽船為Dubois 37型HINYUAN II號。


在2000年的比賽中,郭志樑以Whitbred 60型Beau Geste號做出快28小時10分49秒的成績,打破自己在1996年時駕駛Farr ILC40’型Beau Geste號的記錄。此優異的47小時43分07秒紀錄一直成為「勞力士中國海帆船賽」佳話,直至16年後 (2016年)被Reichel/Pugh 66型Alive號以快11分鐘59秒打破。


郭志樑剛在澳洲以多體船完成了「PIC經典海岸賽」(Pic Coastal Classic)及「紐西蘭島嶼灣帆船賽週」(Bay of Islands Sailing Week),同時正為「勞力士中國海帆船賽」作最後準備。他表示:「我們十分尊重MOD型帆船,並希望在紐西蘭的比賽中向其他世界級MOD型帆船多多學習, 為『勞力士中國海帆船賽』作最後準備。多得優秀的帆船人才及多方面配合,使紐西蘭成為我們提升駕駛多體船技術的理想地點。此外,我們亦特意進行一系列訓練,學習駕駛MOD,過程十分愉快,有如重新學習駕駛帆船的感覺一樣。」


郭志樑 的恆常團隊將會與他一同出戰,他們都是經驗豐富的世界級帆船手,並在過去的六個月一直逗留在MOD船上熟習環境,當中包括戰術指導Gavin Brady(曾參加在紐西蘭舉行的美洲盃及富豪環球帆船賽)、領航員Matthew Humphries(曾五度出戰富豪環球帆船賽的英藉帆船手),以及兩位來自香港遊艇會的船員Margaret Chan 和Patrick Kong。


今年Beau Geste號將由IRC組別轉戰至HKPN(Hong Kong Performance Number證書)組別登場,勢要再次締造賽事記錄,力爭衝線冠軍。郭志樑在過往幾屆賽事中均取得令人滿意的成績,被問到參賽心得時,他指出:「『勞力士中國海帆船賽』是一個講求戰術部署的離岸比賽,啟航前必須定下完善的航行計劃,之後在比賽進行時再作出適切的調整,這就是成功的關鍵。」


MOD Beau Geste號是32個參賽名單中的其中一支強勁隊伍,其餘賽船分別來自於六個地區,包括:澳洲、中國內地、菲律賓、新加坡、美國及香港。其中不少得在2016年取得衝線冠軍及全場總亞軍的Alive號;於1929年建造、世界聞名的經典帆船Dorade號;以及來自中國內地、曾參加「勞力士悉尼至霍巴特帆船大賽」(Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race) 的多艘賽船 ─ ─ 海狼號、上海141237、彤然號及UBOX號;更有以父子檔上場的AYA號。



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