Cross-Harbour race all set for comeback

Local | Maisy Mok 20 Oct 2021

The popular Cross-Harbour swimming race is likely to resume on December 12, with all swimmers required to be fully vaccinated.

The annual New World Harbour Race was suspended for two years in a row since 2019, but its organizer announced plans to resume the race this year.

The organizer, Hong Kong China Swimming Association, announced yesterday that it is discussing with relevant government departments about the anti-epidemic arrangement for the competition and will announce details of the race once it receives the necessary approval.

The plan to resume the race came about as the pandemic situation in Hong Kong has alleviated in recent months and the city's vaccination rate is also approaching 70 percent.

All participants this year will be required to have completed both Covid-19 jabs - approved by the government - 14 days before the race.

Participants should also present a negative Covid-19 test result before the competition to ensure the safety of swimmers and staff.

The association expects to obtain approval for the race from the government before the end of the month, and application details will be announced shortly afterward.

The race, originally scheduled for October 27, was canceled in 2019 due to the uncertainties resulting from the social unrest. It was then canceled for a second time last year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The starting point of the 2019 race will be at Wan Chai Golden Bauhinia Square Public Pier. It will end at Tsim Sha Tsui Avenue of Stars across Victoria Harbour.

The competition provides two race courses for swimmers to compete in - either the one-kilometer course or the five-kilometer one.

The physically demanding sports event has a long history in this city. The cross harbor race was held annually from 1906 to 1978.

The yearly event was revived again in 2011 and renamed the "New World Harbour Race," providing a 1.8 kilometers race course for over 900 swimmers.

Another major sports event in Hong Kong, the Standard Chartered HK Marathon, will be held on Sunday and also requires participants to be fully vaccinated.

Runners are expected to take a nucleic acid test for Covid-19 tomorrow and Saturday at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay.

Meawhile, Hong Kong Tourism Board Executive Director Dane Cheng Ting-yat said yesterday that the Hong Kong Cyclothon would not be able to be held this year due to the pandemic.

He said the cycling competition might return in the first quarter of next year but the number of participants would be lesser than before - about 5,000 people have participated in the past.

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