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International entrants headline a strong contingent entered for the 2024 Rolex China Sea Race


21 boats are entered for Rolex China Sea Race 2024, which takes competitors from Hong Kong, China across the China Sea to Subic Bay in the Philippines. A strong fleet of international entries including previous winners, are preparing to take on this flagship Category 1 Offshore race.


Six entrants are travelling to Hong Kong, from Mainland China (Seawolf and Tong Ran), the Philippines (Standard Insurance Centennial III and Standard Insurance Centennial V), along with first-time entrants from Chinese Taipei (Gusty) and Korea (Random()).


IRC Racer

The IRC Racer class represents the largest fleet in the race and remains as competitive as ever, featuring the premiere racing yachts from around Asia. Both Hojun Song’s Catalina 400 Random() and Mondher Latiri’s Pogo 36 Gutsy have been actively involved in regional racing and these two new boats to the race are spreading their wings to include this world-class offshore race.


Chinese boat Seawolf owned by William Liu, returns to the race after a 6-year hiatus. The Ker 42 Custom Seawolf took IRC overall 3rd place in 2016, stepping up to IRC overall 2nd place in 2018 and are on the hunt for their first IRC overall championship.


Returning to the start line is the 2023 Overall winner, Nick Southward’s Whiskey Jack, who lifted the China Sea Trophy for corrected time on IRC handicap. 2023 Line Honours Winner, Ernesto Echauz's Standard Insurance Centennial V, also returns as the celebrated first Philippines entry to have ever taken Line Honours at the Rolex China Sea Race.


Other Line Honours favorites include two TP52s, Philippines entry Standard Insurance Centennial III, looking to improve upon their best previous result of 3rd IRC overall in 2018.  Skippered by Emerson Villena, he returns for his sixth edition of this flagship race. Local entry Nie Hua’s Happy Go is skippered by Jono Rankine with a group of experienced offshore crew including Ben Harding, Isamu Sakai, and past RHKYC Commodore John Woo and world class grinder, Luke Payne who sailed in SailGP programme with the Japan Team, American's Cup with American Magic and in the Extreme Sailing Series.


Fresh from taking both Line Honours and the IRC Overall win in Hong Kong to Vietnam Race 2023, Nicolas Cohen-Addad’s J122e Jinn, will be setting the bar high for a win as they compete in their second Rolex China Sea Race. Fellow Hong Kong contestants include Stefan Fillip in the streamlined Neo 400 Neo One, and newcomer to the event Henning Mueller in the Sunfast 3600 Zesst are other local boats to watch out for.



Recent winner, Father and son team, Philippe and Cosmas Grelon return for a third time as a double-handed entry in the Rolex China Sea Race. Although the auto pilot system on their Beneteau Figaro 3; a high-performance sailing yacht that was designed specifically for short-handed offshore racing, failed midway through the race last year, they still managed to take 1st place in the division and 2nd place IRC Overall. This year they will compete against Ryan Mann’s Taswell 56 Daybreak and Carl Wilkinson, who joins his second China Sea Race, this year taking his Bavaria 56 Lisa Elaine for the first time in an offshore race short-handed. 


IRC Premier

In the IRC Premier fleet,  Peter Churchouse racing the Custom Warwick 64 Moonblue 2, with 7 China Sea Race’s under his belt, will battle it out in friendly rivalry against Thomas Attenborough’s Swan 56 Parnassus. Carrying a similar IRC rating, a private race for bragging rights will be on between these competitive yachts.


IRC Cruiser

2023 winner Yong Yao on Tong Ran returns to defend his title. Meanwhile IRC overall winner in the Hong Kong Around the Island Race 2023 and division winner in China Coast Regatta, Noel Chan’s Rampage team will sail on their newly acquired Beneteau First 45 Rampage008. They are racing against Thomas Wiesinger’s Sun Odyssey 42 Pacific Sunrise



This fleet welcomes two newcomers, including Oceanis 46 Jibulai, helmed by experience offshore sailors Sunny Leung and Alex Yu, and Bradley Wilkins in the Oceanis 50 Blowers Daughter. Johnson Yuen also returns on board his Hanse 370 Zoe.


2024 marks the 62nd anniversary of this world-renowned blue water classic.  This flagship event is organised by the cosmopolitan Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in Hong Kong.  Rolex has been a partner of the Club since 2007 and Title Sponsor of its flagship Race since 2008.


This prestigious, world-renowned 565nm blue water classic race will start on 27 March on Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour.


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