The 2012 Rolex China Sea Race sees the China Sea Race celebrate its 50th Anniversary, starting at 1210hrs on Wednesday 4 April in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.
On 7th April 1962, three yachts from RHKYC, one from Manila and one from Japan crossed the line at the start of the first China Sea Race. The yachts were escorted over the first 100 miles of their 600 mile journey by two minesweepers of the Hong Kong Royal Naval Reserve.
The finish was off Corregidor Island, crossing a line formed by vessels of the Philippines Navy, to be met by members of the Manila Yacht Club who had co-operated most generously with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in all the arrangements. Due to no radios being on board the yachts, Hector Ross on Reverie crossed the finish line after six days’ racing to find out that they were in first place.
The China Sea Race was subsequently held as a biennial event. In 1964 it attracted 12 entries and in 1966, 13, including the famous ketch Stormvogel. With each successive race, the event grew bigger. In 1968, it was included for the first time in the newly organised World Ocean Racing Championships and in 1972 it was officially recognised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.
Since then it has continued to attract interest and, as an undisputed Asian blue-water classic, has served to draw the attention of the international yachting fraternity to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.