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

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 all the way from Hong Kong, Happy Go finished on 30 March at 05hr 20m 53s, a mere five minutes ahead of their race rival, Standard Insurance Centennial V.

2024 Rolex China Sea Race Day 5 – photo © Rolex / Andrea Francolini

With a corrected time of 2d 18h 0m 53s, none of the other IRC boats still racing can now beat her time for this 565nm race. Nie Hua and the Happy Go crew lifted both the China Sea Trophy and the Sunday Telegraph Trophy at the prizegiving ceremony held at the Subic Bay Yacht Club, and Nie Hua was also presented with two Rolex timepieces. The last time a boat achieved ‘the double’ was in 2010 when Neil Pryde competed with his boat HiFi.

2024 Rolex China Sea Race Day 5 – photo © Rolex / Andrea Francolini

Nie Hua was ecstatic about taking both big prizes in their only their second entry into the Rolex China Sea Race, saying “We made a lot of preparations ahead of the race, but getting Line Honours and the IRC Overall title is completely beyond my expectations! I would like to give a huge round of applause to the whole crew. I am absolutely thrilled, and so thankful. We had a great team, and 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. “I’m very proud of how the team came together; it’s a relatively new team, and everyone did a fantastic job. 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 and the 30th running of this world-renowned blue water classic. The event is the flagship blue-water race organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting clubs in Hong Kong. Rolex has been a partner of the Club since 2007, and title sponsor of the China Sea Race since 2008.

For more information about Rolex China Sea Race 2024, please visit

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