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10 Oct

Countdown to "New World Harbour Race 2011" Begins

1,000 Swimmers Gearing Up for the City’s Most Iconic Sporting Event 

The preparation for Hong Kong's most iconic race "New World Harbour Race 2011", organised by the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association (HKASA) and title-sponsored by New World Group, is entering its final stage. With a view to helping swimmers achieve their personal records at the race, HKASA today invited Chung Yuen, Hong Kong Open Water Swimming Team Coach, to share tips on how swimmers should prepare themselves in the run-up to the Race Day.

HKASA Honourable Secretary Ronnie Wong said, 'The cross harbor swim is one of the city's most exciting sporting events which is alsoperhaps the most representative of the spirit of Hong Kong. In past years, members of the community took great pride in having taken part in the race and challenging themselves to achieve their own personal new records. We are very pleased that the "New World Harbour Race 2011" has received an overwhelming response. The outstanding support from the community for our athletes will give us momentum to further develop and evolve this iconic sporting event. As the organiser of the Race, HKASA is dedicated to offering a remarkable experience to swimmers and supporting them to help break their own records.'

Maria Cheung, General Manager - Corporate Communications of New World Development Company Limited, said: ‘New World Group is very pleased and honored to be able to support the relaunch of the cross harbour swim. The "New World Harbour Race 2011" will bring back the fondly remembered scenes of swimmers navigating through Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong people seldom have time to appreciate the beauty of Victoria Harbour, the city's most treasured landmark. On the Race Day, members of the community will not only be able to watch very competitive races but also enjoy the beautiful view of the harbour.'

The New World Harbour Race 2011 is the long-awaited return of Hong Kong's most iconic sporting event. To encourage and facilitate members of the public to come out to watch the Race and welcome the swimmers at the Finish Point in Quarry Bay Park, a public viewing area will be set up at Quarry Bay Park. To add to the atmosphere of the Race, New World Group, the Race's title sponsor, will be distributing pong pong sticks, fans and water tattoos to members of the public to cheer for the swimmers.

Ronnie Wong added: 'Unlike the previous cross harbor races which started on-shore, all the race categories of the New World Harbour Race 2011 will kick off in open water close to Sam Ka Tsuen Public Landing in Lei Yue Mun. For example, the Men's Individual Race will see more than 500 athletes in red swimming caps getting ready for the gunfire in open water.' The race route will be guarded by a several dozen lifeboats and race operation boats throughout the Race. The race operations boats will carry judges, marshals, and supporting crew.

Ronnie Wong also reminded swimmers to remember to press the transponders, a device to record their time and place, on the touchpad which will be positioned at the middle of the race course. HKASA has put this procedure in place to ensure that all swimmers have finished the entire 1.8km race course and time their performances.

Hong Kong Open Water Swimming Team Coach Chung Yuen advised swimmers of the importance of warm-up exercises and preserving physical strength as they will need to wait for the race start for some time while on-shore and the water temperature may be low. Navigation is one of the key challenges in open water swimming, according to Coach Chung. He recommended swimmers to use buildings along the coast to help navigate themselves to the Finish Point and to make a trip to Lei Yue Mun for identification and recognition of buildings close to the Finish Point in Quarry Bay Park. Finally, he alerted swimmers of the importance of having a strategy ahead of the Race which may involve segmenting the race course and strategically pacing through the segments and most importantly preserving energy to make to the Finish Point.

The Race will be held on Sunday, 16 October 2011, starting at 9:00am.The course stretches approximately 1.8km from Sam Ka Tsuen Public Landing in Lei Yue Mun to Quarry Bay Park.Swimmers must finish the race within 1 hour 15 minutes. The ‘New World Harbour Race 2011' has four race categories: Men's Individual (548 swimmers), Women's Individual (167 swimmers), Men's Team (72 teams) and Women's Team (23 teams).

The "New World Harbour Race 2011" is a revival of the fondly remembered Cross Harbour Race, which was first launched in 1906 and until the last competition in 1978 had grown to become an iconic local sporting event. Reviving the Cross Harbour Race is considered an ideal way to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the HKASA and that of the Hong Kong Sports Federation & Olympic Committee.