- Swimmer participation hits a record high of 1,864
- International Category takes the race to a global level
- New Leisure Group created to encourage public participation
- Christian Reichert and Poliana Okimoto garner championships in the International Category
- Young talent from New World Swimming Academy competes in New World Harbour Race for the first time
(6 October 2013, Hong Kong) – Title-sponsored by New World Development Company Limited (New World Group) and organised by the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association (HKASA), New World Harbour Race 2013 was held today. The iconic race was held for the third year since its re-launch. Record-breaking participation and a new group of international elite swimmers all competing together resulted in fierce battles between the 500 contenders in the Racing Group categories. The race was seen and cheered on by enthusiastic crowds along both sides of the harbour. Alongside over 70 elite swimmers from around the globe competing for the first time in the International Category, around 1,500 swimmers from the newly-added Leisure Group were allowed to soak up the relaxing atmosphere as they swam acrossVictoriaHarbour. The carnival located near the finishing point further spiced up the atmosphere.
New World Harbour Race 2013 kicked off at Sam Ka Tsuen Public Pier in Lei Yue Mun,Kowloonand finished at Quarry Bay Park Public Pier,Hong Kong. Officiating at the gun-firing ceremony were Carrie Lam, Acting Chief Executive, Karl Kwok, Vice President of Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, Ronnie Wong, Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association, 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, and Leonie Ki, Executive Director of New World Development Company Limited. All swimmers completed the race within 1 hour and 15 minutes this year, and were greeted by cheering crowds when they reached the finishing point.
New World Harbour Race went global this year and officials from FINA witnessed the marquee event in person with theHong Kongcommunity. The newly-added International Category was fiercely contended by elite swimmers. Trophies of the International Category Individual Men & Women went to Christian Reichert (Germany) and Poliana Okimoto (Brazil) by clocking 15:45.7 and 15:56.2 respectively. In the Open (A) Aged 17 – 34 Individual Men category, Ling Tin Yu claimed the winning title for the third year in a row with a time of 18:44.1, while Claudia Wong Ming Yu beat two-time defending champion Natasha Tang Wing Yung by clocking 20:01.6 to win the women race.
For the K11 Harbour Race Youth Category Aged 12 – 16 Individual Boys and Individual Girls, Lau Shiu Yue won with a time of 21:22.1, while Fiona Chan On Yiwas named the women’s winner by clocking 22:10.1. Taking home the men’s trophy of the Open (B) Aged 35 – 49 Individual was Nortje Craig Andrew who finished at 25:21.2, while Mary Kwoh, at 27:08.9, was declared the women’s champion. In the Open (C) Aged 50 or above Individual, Koo Yu Fat finished in 21:52.1 to claim the Individual Men championship and Hayley Leung Wong Yin Har netted the women’s championship with a time of 28:21.3.
Ronnie Wong, Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association’s Honorary Secretary, said, “The Cross Harbour Race has been an iconic local event since its establishment. To allow the general public to truly enjoy this historic sports event, a new Leisure Group was created this year to allow more qualified non-racing swimmers to enjoy the atmosphere of the race. This year’s event created a milestone – not only has the number of swimmers hit a record high of 1,864, but the major event also successfully brought onto the international stage with the participation of over 70 global elite swimmers. It is quite an accomplishment given that the race has just been re-launched for three years.”
Adrian Cheng, Executive Director and Joint General Manager of New World Development Company Limited, title sponsor of New World Harbour Race 2013, said, “The Group has long been dedicated to supporting the development of local sports. This year marks the third consecutive year that the Group acts as title sponsor of the New World Harbour Race, which yet again has proven to be a highly-anticipated annual event. We are pleased and excited to witness the iconic cross-harbour race, where 1,864 swimmers competed with each another, with the local community and people from around the world. This year also saw a 12-year-old swimming talent fromNew WorldSwimmingAcademyunder the New World Springboard sustainable community programme compete in the New World Harbour Race for the first time. We are glad to see that he finished the race. His achievement has made us more motivated and determined than ever to further support sustainable community programmes and nurture more swimming talents, while contributing to the development of local sports.”