Happy Go takes the Double – Winning Line Honours and IRC Overall in the 2024 Rolex China Sea Race

HONG KONG, March 31, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in 14 years, the Line Honours winner of the Rolex China Sea Race has 'done the double' and picked up the IRC Overall as well! 

After a well fought 'chase and overtake' competition from the start till the finish, Happy Go finished the Race on 30 March at 05hr20m53s, a mere five minutes ahead of their rival all along the way down to Subic Bay, Standard Insurance Centennial V.

On her corrected time, of 2days 18hours 0mins 53 seconds, none of other IRC boats competing can beat her time in this 565 nautical mile race.

Nie Hua and crew lifted both the China Sea Trophy and Sunday Telegraph Trophy at the prizegiving ceremony held at the Subic Bay Yacht Club.  Nie Hua was also presented with two Rolex timepieces.  The last time a boat achieved the double win was in 2010 when Neil Pryde competed with his boat HiFi.

Nie Hua was ecstatic about taking both big prizes in their only their second entry into the Rolex China Sea Race, saying "We have made a lot of preparations ahead of the Race but getting Line Honours and the IRC Overall title is completely out of my expectations!  I would like to give a huge applause to the crew working on board.  I am absolutely thrilled and so thankful. We had a great team, although we had some language barriers, we operated well, so a big thank you to the team!"

Skipper Jono Rankine added his praises for the crew "Very proud of how the team came together, it's a relatively new team and everyone did a fantastic job and there were no egos on the boat and everyone was helping each other and doing a really good job.  It was really satisfying to see."

Chinese Entry William Liu's Seawolf claimed 2nd IRC Overall. Happy Go, Seawolf and Standard Insurance Centennial V also came 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in IRC Racer 0.

The bulk of the fleet is still racing so there are more division winners to be calculated over the course of the coming days.

2024 marks the 62nd anniversary of this world-renowned blue water classic.  This flagship event is organised by the cosmopolitan Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in Hong Kong.  Rolex has been a partner of the Club since 2007 and Title Sponsor of its flagship Race since 2008.Telegraph Trophy. A Rolex timepiece will be awarded to the first boat under IRC Overall handicap and first Monohull Line Honours.

For more information about Rolex China Sea Race 2024, please visit www.rolexchinasearace.com.

High resolution photos can be downloaded from the below link:

Photos credit: ROLEX / Andrea Francolini


The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is one of the oldest and largest sports clubs in Hong Kong, with a rich, colourful history that spans 170 years of community and competitive sailing and rowing. The RHKYC provides training programmes for practitioners of all abilities and ages – both members and non-members – to nurture their development, produce elite athletes capable of competing at the highest levels, and contribute to the growth and popularity of these great pastimes. The Club also organises a full calendar of high-profile local and international race events, helping place Hong Kong firmly on the global sporting map.


Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. The Swiss watchmaker naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and the brand's enduring partnership now encompasses the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas, as well as towering figures in the sport, including ground-breaking round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting SailGP global championship in which national teams race identical supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world's most famous harbours. Rolex's partnerships with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Yacht Club Italiano, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron, among others, are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.



Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization. The word "Perpetual" is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company's vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 500 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.


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