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Offshore racing is not for everyone. It is a test of skill, endurance, and courage, with competitors facing some of the most challenging conditions as they navigate their way across blue water. Unpleasant experiences can quickly put off new sailors, and cruiser -racers provide another option for those sailors who prefer a more comfortable and enjoyable ride across the China Sea than their staunch counterparts.

Moonblue 2

Stalwart competitor Peter Churchouse in his Custom Warwick 64, Moonblue 2, has been a consistent participant in the annual crossing of the South China Sea for over 20 years. She has achieved several appearances on the podium in her Premier Cruising Division but the elusive overall victory has yet to be found.

Moonblue 2 has enjoyed many of the iconic races in the region such as the China Coast Regatta, Samui Regatta, Kings Cup and the Around the Island Race to name a few. When not setting records as the fastest competitive floating wine cellar in the Eastern hemisphere, she can be found in her natural habitat plying Hong Kong's own local clipper route: Kellett Island to Po Toi.

This year Moonblue 2 carries a diverse mix of experienced vigour and youthful energy. Joining veteran offshore sailors Peter Churchouse, John Binks (Navigator), Inge Strompf-Jepsen (Radio Operator) and Drew Taylor, along with first time competitors Rachel Yip, and Jano Amanay (first time joining this race but a master of the Atlantic). Regular sailors,  Mark Salvador, Laurence McDonald, Daniel De-mare and Luke Van der Kamp make up the remainder of the team.

The team, who call themselves infamous ‘Po Toi Runners’, expressed their only concern ahead of the race “is the unfamiliar action of continuing south once past Shek O Rock instead of continuing straight onwards to Po Toi... Once we have overcome this shock and uncomfortable break from procedure, the crew can expect some fine sailing, hearty meals, excellent banter and if lucky, the occasional sundowner as a reward for a day well sailed.”


2023 was the first year of offshore racing for Parnassus under her current ownership, resulting in a twelfth place overall. The boat was acquired during the Coronavirus pandemic from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia with the new owner having never set eyes on the boat.  The restart of the Rolex China Sea Race in 2023 incentivised the crew to team up and take on the fitting out and training required to participate in the Cat1 race and get out there.

A crew of 12 including RHKYC's Commodore Lucy Sutro, join Parnassus for the 2024 race. With representatives from Hong Kong, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, Singapore, and the USA this is truly an international crew.  Aging from 20 to 68, three of the team are undertaking their first offshore race.

With the great personal friendships existing between the owners and crew of Moonblue 2 and Parnassus, combined with similar IRC ratings, friendly rivalry was born between the two teams in 2023. Thomas Attenborough, owner of this Swan 56 said, “Parnassus has high hopes of turning the tides for 2024 with fewer than 33 minutes (elapsed) between the two boats in the 2023 edition!”


Rolex China Sea Race 2024, which takes competitors from Hong Kong, China across the China Sea to Subic Bay in the Philippines will start on 27 March.


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