Further to the confirmation by top international sailors, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is delighted to announce that the windsurfer fleet in the race will be augmented by the following internationally renowned Mistral competitors.
· Lee KORSITZ, Israel, fresh from her World Championship victory in Cadiz, Spain
· Amelie LUX, Germany, Gold Medallist at the Sydney 2000 Olympics
· Jian YIN, China, Asian Champion 2002
· Ricardo SANTOS, Brazil, World No.5 and Pan-American Cup champion
· Joeri Van DIJK, Netherlands, World No.11 and Youth World Champion '00 and '01
· Yuan Guo ZHOU, China, Gold Medallist in the 2002 Asian Games
Hong Kong's sporting sweetheart, Lee LAI-SHAN, and current holder of the record for windsurfing around the island, Sam WONG, have indicated that they will also compete, ensuring that Hong Kong will be in contention for top honours.
History of the Race
In 1864, the first recorded race outside harbour limits was held - round the island to starboard. The race, which attracted six entrants, was sailed in a fresh north easterly breeze and was won by Mayflower on corrected time. Mayflower was owned by R F HAWKE who was described as one of the keenest yachtsmen Hong Kong had ever seen.
On 15 January 1870, the new Yacht Club, formed at the end of 1869, held its inaugural race with boats divided into two classes, those exceeding 15 tons and those under this measurement. The course took the nine competing boats from the start off Kowloon, through Lyemun Pass, round the island of Wai Ling Ting and back to Hong Kong by way of Green Island, a distance of approximately 50 miles. It was a cold wet January day and the race was won again by J F HAWKE, this time in a Cutter Naiad in less than eight hours giving her an average speed of over nine knots.
In 1940 Noel Croucher was made Commodore of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and did much to resuscitate the Club after Hong Kong's liberation from Japanese occupation. As part of his strong support of sailing activities, Noel Croucher presented a cup for the Cruiser Championship Series which was to comprise 5 races, all starting and finishing at Kellett Island. Of these five, the circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island proved to be the most popular and from 1983 the Round the Island Race has been an annual event.
In 1931, Mr Croucher's yacht, La Cigale, set a record of 3 hours and 40 minutes which remained unbroken until 1968. In the seventies, Mr Reg MAYNARD, then President of the Hong Kong Yachting Association, presented the Cariad Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation of the island and speed attempts were made independently of the race. The current record is held by Dennis Wong SHUN-Kit, who on 1st December 1990 circumnavigated the island in a Hobie Cat 21 with a time of 2 hours 41 minutes and 57 seconds.
From its beginnings in 1864, the Round The Island Race has become Hong Kong's largest sailing event and requires a huge amount of organisation. An army of volunteers helps with the smooth running of the event with safety, as always, given top priority. We urge all members to enter their boats and show that enthusiasm for this race remains undiminished.
Further details are available on the RHKYC website at the address below.