Hong Kong’s women took gold in the quad race at the World Rowing Coastal Championship on Sunday at Victoria Harbour.

Wong Sheung-yee, Leung Wing-wun, Hung Wing-yan-winne, Leung King-wan and cox Tse Yan-man had never raced as a team before, but set lofty goals nonetheless.

“There were only little points we had to try and synchronise,” Wong said. “Getting the gold medal was our target – we can only go faster if we aim high.

“When it came to the race, in some moments we didn't think we could do it, but we tried our best and in the end it a little bit of a surprise to win.”

More than 500 rowers from around the world have descended on Hong Kong for the competition, which has never been held in Asia before. The first rounds of heats were held on Friday and Saturday, and the finals on Sunday. There are categories for solos, pairs and quads.

The four Hong Kong women beat Russia, who came second, and Denmark, who finished third.

“The conditions were tough, but we’ve been really rowing as part of the crew,” Hung told WorldRowing.com.

“As a flat water rower, I just started to train for coastal rowing a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t realise that we were the winner when we crossed the finish line, but finally, we got the gold. What a great surprise.”

The tournament is being hosted by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC). Competitors start from in front of RHKYC and make their way towards the Central Piers and back again, skirting the iconic skyline.

Tse said they were very excited because “this is our first time rowing in the world championship class, and our first time as this combination. So, we were all excited and now we are happy to be the champions”.