Published: Tuesday, 03 April 2018

The 18-year-old Rolex China Sea Race multihull record was broken by Karl Kwok's MOD 70 Beau Geste with top speeds of 37 knots, and her elapsed time of 38hrs 30mins 7secs wiped 9hrs 31mins 40secs off the previous race record set in 2000.

Karl Kwok Breaks Multihull Record In Rolex China Sea Race 2 

(Photo: Rolex / Daniel Forster - Mandrake III)

The 2018 edition saw 29 boats taking part, with 265 competitors hailing from 22 territories.

There was a difficult weather picture for the latter stage of the race for the faster IRC 0 division yachts, and with the breeze filling in behind the other divisions as they made their way towards the Philippines.

The IRC Overall win, from IRC 1 Division, went to Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns’ GTS 43 Mandrake III (HKG), followed by YY Yan / YF Liu Ker 42 Custom Seawolf (HKG / China) also from IRC 1.

Tiger Mok commented on Seawolf’s second overall, “This was the second or third major offshore race for Seawolf and I am delighted to see the improvement and willingness to push harder in the race.

“The boys did a great job! I hope we can be an example for other boat owners from China, who are new to offshore sailing so that more owners take part in this type of race, as well as to prove that anyone with good training, knowledge and experience can perform well in world class offshore racing.”

Karl Kwok Breaks Multihull Record In Rolex China Sea Race 1

(Photo: Rolex / Daniel Forster - Mandrake III)

Third overall from the IRC 0 division went to Philippines entry, Ernesto Echauz’s TP52 Standard Insurance Centennial. “We had a very good race. It was trouble-free. Out of all the races we have done it was the most relaxing, no problems at all. It's very meaningful for us as we have been racing together for more than ten years.” said Echauz.

Father and son double-handed entry Philippe and Comos Grelon’s Tbs-Aya finished taking 15th overall and second in the IRC Class 2 behind Glenn Smith’s Grand Soleil 45 Blackjack.

On arrival, they commented: “We wanted to have fun, that’s for sure, and to finish – which was probably not too difficult as the conditions were absolutely perfect for us.

“I think we only had a maximum breeze of 30 knots. Sailing double-handed, I think it takes quite a bit of skill. you need to know what you’re doing and have a lot of trust in the other person too. The good news we have been sailing a lot together, we know each other perfectly, we don’t argue and that’s amazing. We had a very cool and quiet race.”

On decisions, Philippe commented, “One says let’s do this or that and the other says yes okay. I prefer to sail double-handed because we know each very well there’s no problem.”

In IRC Premier Division, Peter Cremers’ Warwick 75 Shahtoosh took the division win and fifth Overall; climbing up the ladder from 13th in 2016 edition.

In the IRC Cruising Division, first time Rolex China Sea Race competitor Michael Ashbrook’s Jeanneau Sitka took the division win.

The official prize giving will be held at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club later in April.