Event to be held alongside the 5th Asian Open Water Swimming
Championships; combined races awarded “M” Mark status
Hong Kong, 25th June 2012 — Following the rousing success of the New World Harbour Race last year, which saw one of Hong Kong’s most iconic sporting events return after a 33-year absence, organiser Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association (HKASA) and sponsor New World Group (New World) today announced that the 2012 race will take place on Sunday, 21st October.
Being held concurrently with the New World Harbour Race 2012 will be the 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships, which promises to attract elite swimmers from Hong Kong and across Asia at the invitation of the HKASA. With the addition of this regional swimming competition, the combined event has been awarded “M” Mark Status by the Major Sports Events Committee, which promotes Hong Kong as a city for mega events.
The HKASA and New World also revealed a number of exciting new changes that will open the New World Harbour Race to more members of the community than ever. These include an increased swimmer quota of 1,500, up from 1,000, and the addition of new categories such as men’s and women’s mixed teams as well as three individual race categories for various age groups.
Attending the press conference for the New World Harbour Race 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre were Jonathan McKinley, Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs; Ng Kin Sun, Vice President of the HKASA; Ronnie Wong, Honorary Secretary of the HKASA; Adrian Cheng, Executive Director and Joint General Manager of New World Development Company Limited; Gary Chen, Executive Director and Joint General Manager of New World Development Company Limited; Yeung Wai Sing, Eastern District Council Member; Leonie Ki, Executive Director of New World Development Company Limited and Maria Cheung, General Manager of Corporate Communication for New World Development Company Limited.
Ng Kin Sun said, “The cross-harbour swim is one of Hong Kong’s greatest legacies. Its strong return last year after 33 years not only revived fond memories for the community, but also offered the younger generations a chance to appreciate the significance and meaning of this iconic event.”
“Now, more people than ever will be able to participate because we are increasing the swimmer quota by 50% and adding new race categories. Also, because the HKASA is hosting the 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships at the same time as the New World Harbour Race 2012, there will be an excellent opportunity to foster exchange between local and international swimmers in this 5km heavy-weight Asia swimming race, and promote the status of Hong Kong as a city for mega-events,” added Dr Ng.
Adrian Cheng said, “The growth of the New World Harbour Race is dependent on the support of the public as well as new talent. To promote swimming in Hong Kong, New World has also partnered with the HKASA to set up the New World Swimming Academy, a programme that offers free professional coaching to underprivileged children, inspiring them to swim and identifying potential talent.
“The Race undoubtedly symbolises the resilience and perseverance of the people of Hong Kong. The growing popularity of the Race also shows that it is well on the path toward becoming not only an icon of Hong Kong, but an internationally recognised sporting event,” said Mr Cheng.
Individual races cover four categories, including the “Open” group as well as those for swimmers aged from 12 to 16, from 17 to 49, and 50 and above. Team races include three categories, men’s, women’s and mixed, with each team comprising two swimmers.
The New World Harbour Race 2012 will kick off at 8:30am on Sunday, 21st October. The race course stretches approximately 1.5km, from the Sam Ka Tsuen Typhoon Shelter in Lei Yue Mun in Kowloon to Sai Wan Ho Harbour Park Public Pier on Hong Kong Island. All swimmers must be certified as meeting the HKASA’s entry requirements for the race. A water trial will apply to applicants without HKASA-accredited race records.
The 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships will also start at 8:30am, using the same start and finish points as the New World Harbour Race but tracing a 5km course around Victoria Harbour.
Title sponsor New World is offering awards to the top three winners of each race category. To encourage talented young swimmers, K11, a subsidiary of New World, has sponsored the K11 Harbour Race Young Swimmers Cup for the 12 to 16 age group.
Registration is open starting today, 25th June 2012. Entry forms can be downloaded from h.rwu.hk.