The New World Harbour Race 2012, title-sponsored by New World Group and organised by the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association (HKASA), will feature new, enhanced arrangements for the 1,800 participating swimmers on 21 October 2012. Concurrently with the race, 28 swimmers representing eight countries and areas will compete in the 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships.
This year, approximately 120 safety and race operation vessels as well as a team of 190 lifeguards, swimmer escorts and medical officers will be deployed on the race day. To help swimmers navigate the water and ensure their safety, the HKASA plans to line one side of the race route with boats and canoes and the other with buoys.
Another safety enhancement is the introduction of a sonar system that has been used in world-class open-water swimming competitions including the 14th FINA World Championships held in Shanghai 2011 and the Universiade 2011 Shenzhen. The HKASA will position two sets of sonar equipment along the race route, one at the turning point and one close to the finishing point, to complement the existing and commonly-used tracking methods of manual counting and transponders which is also used to track swimmers’ time. To record their time, swimmers must tap the electronic touch pad with the hand wearing the transponder when they swim through the turning point and when they arrive at the finishing line. Also, swimmers must touch the transponder on a scanner when they report to the Finishing Centre onshore.
The HKASA’s Honourable Secretary, Ronnie Wong, said, “We have introduced enhanced safety measures to account for the increased number of swimmers. In addition, safety guidelines have been distributed to swimmers during collection of swimmer packs.”
Maria Cheung, General Manager, Corporate Communication of New World Development Company Limited, said, “New World Group is honoured to have the opportunity again to support the city’s most iconic race and is pleased to see the overwhelming number of applications received this year. We look forward to enjoying this exciting event with both the participants and members of the public.”
Meanwhile, the 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships, to be held concurrently with the New World Harbour Race 2012, has attracted 14 male and 10 female elite swimmers from China, Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan, Macau, Oman, Singapore and Sri Lanka to participate.Hong Kong will be represented by two male and two female swimmers, bringing the total number of swimmers to 28. A few countries and areas, in addition to their official teams, are sending a total of 7 swimmers who will join the race to gain experience but will not compete for the championships.
The Race will be held at 8:30am on Sunday, 21 October 2012. The gun firing ceremony will be officiated by The Hon CY Leung, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The race course of the New World Harbour Race 2012 stretches approximately 1.5km from Sam Ka Tsuen Public Pier in Lei Yue Mun to the Sai Wan Ho Harbour Park Public Pier. Swimmers are required to finish the race within 1 hour 15 minutes. Public viewing areas are available at the start and finish points.