Shirley Robertson to compete in Hebe Haven Yacht Club 24-hour race in Hong Kong

The Hebe Haven Yacht Club in Hong Kong will be holding the third annual 24 Hour Charity Dinghy race on the 15-16 October. The event is the only 24-hr dinghy race in Asia, and one of four worldwide. This year, the principal event sponsor is now Broadband TV.

Local teams will be represented by all the major Yacht Clubs in Hong Kong (HHYC, RHKYC and ABC). Entries are also expected from organisations such as the Sail Training Association, Outward Bound, Australian International, KGV and Clearwater Bay School, as well as individual and corporate entities. Other yacht clubs in Asia have been invited to join the event.

Also taking part in this year’s event is the UK’s two-time Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson. Robertson was the first woman in British sport to win two Olympic gold medals for sailing in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. She will also be entering the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Sailed in the sheltered waters immediately in front of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club, the 24-Hour Dinghy Race offers a new and challenging event sailed around a short course (approximately one mile) that keeps the racing within sight of the Club. Teams will race for 24 hours with pit stops to change crews at intervals throughout the race.

Aside from the action on the water, Hebe Haven Yacht Club will be open to the public on both days, featuring music, merchandise stalls, lots of children’s entertainment and a raft race with competitors from local schools.

This year, sponsors hope to raise $750,000, with 80 per cent of donations going to the Children Cancer’s Foundation. Another 20 per cent will be donated to the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association, which assists senior citizens living alone in Sai Kung, in keeping with the Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s mission statement to contribute to the local community.

First held in 2002 and 2004, the event has proved to be an unqualified success with nearly HK$ 1 million raised for charity, primarily the Children Cancer’s Foundation. In 2004, 400 competitors sailed 23 boats and were supported by more than 100 volunteers.

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