Published: Friday, 14 November 2014

This year’s Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Around the Island Race is coming up on Nov 16. It has been 150 years since the first race to circumnavigate Hong Kong Island was recorded, with a mere six boats racing around the Island to starboard. The route has always been considered challenging with unpredictable wind shifts and strong tides.

Entries are likely to range from one-person dinghies to 50-foot-plus cruising yachts. The logistics for the largest event on the Hong Kong sailing calendar include a team of about 50 volunteers to man onshore and on-the-water safety.

On Race Day there will be two start lines immediately in front of the Kellett Island Clubhouse in Causeway Bay with up to 20 separate starts for sailboats, while over 30 local and international crews on outrigger canoes and coastal rowing boats will start and finish in the calmer surroundings of the RHKYC Middle Island sailing and rowing centre. 

Rhkyc Around The Island Race To Take Place Nov 16.

(Image: RHKYC / Guy Nowell)

The course is a 26 nautical mile circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island to starboard, which has been sanctioned by the Hong Kong Marine Department since 2003. If the breeze is sufficient, boats will finish back where they started, at RHKYC’s Kellett Island clubhouse. However, if winds are light the Race Officer may decide to finish at Green Island, Cyberport or Stanley.

Last year, competitors enjoyed particularly good wind. Extreme 40 Aberdeen Asset Management finally smashed the record set by the late Dennis Wong in 1990, lifting the Cariad Trophy with a fastest ever elapsed time of 2h 13m 11s. A further 13 new elapsed time records were set in the 2013 race by the one-design and monohull fleets.