The Full Story
Get ready for the ultimate adventure on the high seas with the thrilling Around the Island Race! This exhilarating 45-kilometer race takes you on a journey around the captivating Hong Kong Island. Brace yourself for an unforgettable experience as you navigate the picturesque coastline, with the stunning metropolitan skyline on one side and the serene beauty of nature on the other.
Organised by the prestigious Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, in collaboration with the Hong Kong China Rowing Association and endorsed by the Hong Kong Water Sports Council, this race attracts teams from around the globe. Join participants from Singapore, Germany, Hawaii, Spain, USA, and China as they compete for glory in this epic showdown.
Mark your calendars and prepare to be amazed as a fleet of boats of all shapes and sizes, from nimble dinghies to majestic yachts, come alive with excitement. Embark on an extraordinary journey that showcases Hong Kong's enchanting coastline, rugged terrain, and iconic skyline.
Let the history of the race captivate your imagination. Dating back to 1864, the first-ever sailing competition on this course saw six daring sailing craft circumnavigate the island, propelled by a fresh north-easterly breeze. Throughout the years, records were shattered, and legends were born. In 1953, Victor Ardy and Major N. Payne-Johnson completed the 27-mile circuit from Middle Island in an astonishing eight hours and 54.5 minutes, setting a new benchmark. Not to be outdone, Bob Wilson and Des Robinson triumphed 15 years later, conquering the course in a record-breaking five hours and 40 minutes.
Fast-forward to 2005, when the race welcomed outrigger canoes into the mix. Beginning with Hawaii, these fearless teams joined the ranks of the already popular annual sailing race. Alongside the esteemed Hong Kong Island Paddle Club (now VRC), Hong Kong Outrigger Canoe Club, and Lantau Outrigger Canoe Club, they brought a new level of excitement to the event. The following year, the RHKYC rowers made their grand entrance, entering male and female coastal rowing doubles crews for the first time.
The race evolved and grew exponentially over the years, with an increasing number of coastal rowing and outrigger canoe crews joining the fray. In 2016, it was decided that the Coastal Rowing and Outrigger Canoe races should be held on separate days from the sailing event to accommodate the surge in participants. This landmark decision reflected the rapid growth of both coastal rowing and outrigger canoeing, not just in Hong Kong but also within the entire region.
The year 2017 marked another milestone in the race's history. For the first time, the Coastal Rowing and Outrigger Canoe Around The Island Race began from separate locations at the distinguished Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club premises - Kellett Island and Middle Island. This momentous change symbolised the continuing growth and development of coastal rowing and outrigger canoeing, both in Hong Kong and beyond.