HONG KONG, March 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The fierce battle for Line Honours in the Rolex China Sea Race between defending Line Honours winner Standard Insurance Centennial V and Happy Go was finally settled in the early hours of the morning today when Happy Go edged out her rival by five minutes. It was as nail-biting a finish as one could ever have with close, competitive racing. It was at around 0315hrs that Happy Go edged in front and finally at 05hr20m53s, Nie Hua’s Happy Go crossed the finish line to claim Line Honours, shaving more than 20 hours off their elapsed time from 2023.

Skipper Jono Rankine said “The battle with Centennial V was close the whole race.  We were aware of them the whole way along the racecourse. We were always checking to see who was close to the finish line and then obviously right at the end we could see them right the way through, firstly on AIS and seeing their lights at night. It was pretty exciting and there were a few lead changes. One moment they were ahead, another moment we were ahead and then the next moment we were sitting in a wind hole and not moving and they were ghosting past us. Yeah, it was exciting and a fun way to win the race.” 

Jono explained that one of biggest tactical decisions was made ahead of the race when they dropped four people from the crew, “it made the boat a lot lighter and easier to sail and it definitely made the race more challenging. We were expecting the race to be a lot longer but we knew it was going to be light winds and not super demanding so we knew we could handle it with nine people. ” 

Ernesto Echauz’s Standard Insurance Centennial V finished only five minutes behind Happy Go. Ernesto said “This was the most exciting Rolex China Sea Race that I have ever experienced. It was so exciting from the start on the first day and all the way up to the finish. Happy Go did very well. What was so nice was that we were competing with each other, especially on the last day up to the end. I am very proud of my team and proud of the other competitors as they are very competitive.” Shortly after, and showing his sportsmanship, Ernesto went to visit Happy Go to congratulate them on their win.

With the Line Honours settled and as the rest of the fleet converges on Subic Bay, all eyes are on who will take IRC Overall. A thrilling battle is developing for the IRC Overall leaderboard with boats swapping positions often. Seawolf, Zesst, A Plastic Ocean and Whiskey Jack have all to play for. Happy Go is currently sitting at the top in IRC overall but will have to wait it out to see whether the other boats still racing can beat her time in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s 565 nautical mile race.  The last time a boat won Line Honours and IRC Overall was Neil Pryde on HiFi in 2010.

As of HK Time 1600hrs, A Plastic Ocean is leading in IRC Racer 2, Zesst leads IRC Racer 3 and Rampage008 is looking strong for the Cruiser division. Monnblue2 and Parnassus are having another nail-biting race with Moonblue2 in front. Blowers Daughter is leading in PHS.

For more information about Rolex China Sea Race 2024, please visit www.rolexchinasearace.com.

High resolution photos can be downloaded from the below link:
https://rhkycorghk-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/vivian_ngan_rhkyc_org_hk/ElcvnduJ8tlIvkLLoEY7urcBJoeVJc5WS6Cy6XZB9twhbA?e=hcSnI1

Photos credit: ROLEX / Andrea Francolini

ABOUT ROYAL HONG KONG YACHT CLUB (RHKYC)

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is one of the oldest and largest sports clubs in Hong Kong, with a rich, colourful history that spans 170 years of community and competitive sailing and rowing. The RHKYC provides training programmes for practitioners of all abilities and ages – both members and non-members – to nurture their development, produce elite athletes capable of competing at the highest levels, and contribute to the growth and popularity of these great pastimes. The Club also organises a full calendar of high-profile local and international race events, helping place Hong Kong firmly on the global sporting map.

ROLEX AND YACHTING

Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. The Swiss watchmaker naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and the brand’s enduring partnership now encompasses the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas, as well as towering figures in the sport, including ground-breaking round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting SailGP global championship in which national teams race identical supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Yacht Club Italiano, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron, among others, are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.

ABOUT ROLEX 

AN UNRIVALLED REPUTATION FOR QUALITY AND EXPERTISE

Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 500 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.