The heroics of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club boats, representing China, in the Sydney-to-Hobart ocean classic clinched a first-ever victory for the Chinese in the Telstra Southern Cross Cup, it was confirmed yesterday. The magnificent performance of the Karl Kwok-skippered Beau Geste - which was the overall handicap winner of the 630 nautical mile race on Tuesday - and Warwick Miller's Exile, which crossed the line in second, had put China in a strong position. But outright victory was not decided until all entrants had finished yesterday and the final position of Neil Pryde's Hi Fidelity could be determined. Pryde's placement - 32nd - earned enough points to secure the win for China ahead of Australia. China finished the series with 1,289 points, with Australia on 1,279. China's victory capped a fine week for Hong Kong's Kwok, but it could be a while before the businessman is tempted to tackle the Sydney-to-Hobart again. Asked if he would defend his title next year, Kwok said: 'I don't think so. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime things where everything happened at the right time. 'The Sydney-to-Hobart is an extremely hard race to tackle and it is very competitive . . . it's also a very costly exercise.' Kwok described China's victory as a 'marvellous achievement' and said the performance of Miller's Exile provided a spur to his own crew. 'It really gave us a lift to hear the Exile was doing so well when we got the daily positions over the radio,' he said. 'It motivated us to do well. The race we had with Ragamuffin was totally unexpected . . . from start to finish we were never out of each other's sight,' he said. 'Winning overall was a marvellous achievement. We didn't know what to expect when we set sail . . . it really is quite remarkable.' Kwok said the key to victory had been the balance of the China team. 'If you look at the history of the event, the yachts that have always done well are in the 40-to-50 foot range. Neil and I both skippered yachts in that range and I think that was crucial.'