Racing as the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club University (RHKYC), top athletes selected from seven Hong Kong universities with rowing programs will compete for the first time in an international competition.
“We’re really excited to welcome these young athletes from Hong Kong to San Diego for the Crew Classic,” said Darlene Disney, executive director of the San Diego Crew Classic.
“They will join almost 4,400 other athletes from more than 125 universities, clubs and high schools from across the United States, as well as the world, to participate in our legendary, premier spring regatta,” she said.
The RHKYC has been the primary driving force behind rowing in Hong Kong, which dates back to the mid-1800s. One of RHKYC’s latest initiatives is called the University Elite Program (UEP). This program was created as a way to help bring university rowing in Hong Kong to a higher level.
To help bridge the gap between university and club rowers and introduce collegiate rowers to the Masters level, UEP created a membership level to allow university athletes to participate in and for the RHKYC.
As UEP is a neutral body within the university community and has pedigree coaching, it was perfectly suited to launch this program — the first of its kind in Hong Kong.
“Rowing in Hong Kong, which has an independent system from mainland China, is exploding, and these athletes have made amazing strides,” said Sean Hall, elite rowing coach at RHKYC.
“There are seven active universities that have rowing programs. Being at the San Diego Crew Classic will certainly be a springboard to their programs and provide these athletes with a new experience competing against the best rowers in the United States,” he said.
Men and women, chosen from the following universities, have trained together to compete at the San Diego Crew Classic: Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK); University of Hong Kong (HKU); Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU); Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU); Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST); Lingnan University; and City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
Thanks to the generosity of a single sponsor from Hong Kong more than 40 athletes will travel to the US. The RHKYC team will enter men’s and women’s collegiate eights as well as a Masters and Club Crew as part of this two-day, nationally acclaimed regatta for juniors, collegiate, masters and even Olympic-level competitors, set in the picturesque waters, sandy shores and green lawns of Mission Bay Park.
Racing is tentatively scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. each day. The racing action continues until about 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The Jessop-Whittier Cup heats begin early in the morning on Saturday, April 5, followed by the Copley Cup heats. The Jessop-Whittier Cup final is set for Sunday morning, followed by the Copley Cup final.
Winning crews in 2013 for these two coveted collegiate trophies were California in the Copley Cup (men) for their 12th overall; and USC, who took the Jessop-Whittier Cup (women) for their third straight win and fifth title since 2007.
Tickets for the 2014 San Diego Crew Classic can be purchased in advance at crewclassic.org. Admission is free for active military with ID and for children under 12 years of age.
Paid parking is available at Crown Point Shores. There is free parking at Ski Beach, off Ingraham Street and across from the entrance to Paradise Point Resort, with free shuttle service to the regatta.
For more information about the 41st annual San Diego Crew Classic, contact Rick Schloss at email@example.com or (619) 708-6007 or visit crewclassic.org.
This site includes information for competitors and spectators, as well as the race schedule/results.