Father and son teams in the Rolex China Sea Race
Three out of the 19 yachts participating in the 2023 Rolex China Sea Race feature father and son crews racing together that will make the Race all the more memorable.
Andrew Pidden, owner and skipper of Juice, has not one but two of his sons on his crew. Describing his sons, Tom and Matt as “our secret performance weapons”, both young men will be an integral part of the 6-man crew onboard on the 10m J99 flyer.
Since taking up sailing with his father in 2019 onboard the one design Dragon class, Pidden’s son Matt has been eagerly awaiting for the return of the China Sea Race and is very excited to finally take part this year having recently taken part in the Clipper Race which ironically left from Subic Bay after the Covid pandemic shut the race down for 2 years. While Tom will participate in his first offshore race, he is a regular face onboard Juice and is very excited to join the race and take part in it with his father and brother.
No stranger to the China Sea Race, father son duo Phillipe and Cosmos Grelon – are racing double-handed on a Beneteau Figaro 3, a high-performance sailing yacht that was designed specifically for short-handed offshore racing. Their previous foray into the world of double handed racing saw this dynamic duo previously competed in the 2018 edition of the Race and they will be ones to watch in the overall standings as they push themselves over the course. Their innovative yacht is the first production one-design monohull fitted with foils, which is said to greatly enhance its speed and stability.
On board Shenton Drew’s Swan 53 will be father son combination, Harvey and Bassie Jessop. Both of them came into the sport eight years ago and have previously competed in the China Sea Race on board Wonderwall, taking 2nd place in IRC cruiser division. This year they will have their father/son bonding aboard Athena.
Another family combination joining this year is Shenton Drew, skipper of Athena sailing together with his father-in-law, sailing legend Roland Lennox-King, who was past owner of Reverie, which was the first boat to ever win the China Sea Race in the inaugural Race in 1962. Shenton, an ex-Royal Marine turned banker, is joining his first China Sea Race as skipper and Roland will be passing valuable experience to him during the journey.