Nations’ Cup – Saturday 27 April oganised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

With a strong emphasis on fun and participation, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s Nations’ Cup has already attracted 73 entries from 23 nations - many of whom will spend the days leading up to the event deciding what costumes to wear and what national delicacy to bring to the ‘after-party’.

The weather gods are not playing ball however, with occasional rain and squally thunderstorms currently on the menu. That said the Nations’ Cup is as much about the activities on land as it is about those on the water and a dodgy Hong Kong Observatory forecast is unlikely to put a damper on the growing nationalistic fervour.

Crews are formed along the lines of nation of origin or allegiance. While the Nationality Criteria states that “100% of crew members must be nationals of the country which is represented by the boat they are racing on”, the same criteria then go on to offer a multitude of different ways that a ‘wannabe’ can qualify – all the way down to representing a Nation in the Miss Universe Pageant.

To be specific, a sailor qualifies as a national of a country if ANY of the following apply:

The sailor was born in that country

The sailor holds a valid passport of that country

The sailor has the right of abode in that country (for clarity, HK requires a Permanent HKID Card)

The sailor has been normally resident in that country for at least 10 years at some stage in their life (for clarity, the 10 years need not be continuous)

The sailor has represented that country at a major international event, for example the Olympics

The sailor fluently speaks the language of that country

The sailor can sing the national anthem of that country (in the native tongue)

Racing will feature a pursuit race following a simple course, starting in Victoria Harbour at Kellett Island and taking the fleet eastwards, out through Lei Yue Mun Gap, to a turning mark which will be selected to suit the prevailing weather conditions. Once around, the boats will re-enter the Harbour and, with a bit of cooperation from the wind gods, race back to the finish line at Kellett Island.

Coveted prizes include the right of the winning nation to place their flag on conspicuous display behind the Club’s Main Bar until the 2014 race and, of course, the bragging rights that go with proving themselves to be “Champion Sailing Nation of The Year”. 

The first boat home in the inaugural event in 2011 was England, followed by Ireland, Australia, Sweden, Scotland and Japan. The 2012 edition had to be abandoned due to lack of wind and miserable weather conditions, however the ‘after party’ more than made up for any disappointment.

Entries are still open for this popular event and interested parties should contact Lindsay Lyons in the RHKYC Sailing Office ([email protected])

Event website at

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 April 2013 )