Sailors set to take wind out of rivals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 March, 2002, 12:00am

The 2002 China Sea Race, the top event in the Hong Kong sailing calendar, starts from Victoria Harbour on Thursday.

The race is co-organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Manila Yacht Club and run under the auspices of the Royal

Ocean Racing Club.

The 600-nautical-mile race from Hong Kong to the Philippines will attract some of the region's top sailors, with more than 40 yachts competing this year.

The 2000 winner, Beau Geste, skippered by Karl Kwok, broke the race record with a time of 70 hours and three minutes.

Kwok won't race this year as he has sold his boat to the Assa Abloy team, who are taking part in the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race.

There is a race across the South China Sea every year,

but the destination in the Philippines alternates

between Corregidor, in Manila, and San Fernando, which is further south.

The China Sea Race always finishes in Corregidor.

The other event is called the San Fernando Race.

Both races start from Victoria Harbour.

Atmosphere won last year's exciting San Fernando Race just two minutes ahead of second-placed Ffree Fire, but only the latter is racing in this year's China Sea Race.