In the latest of our new blog series, we have been talking to some of our regional Country Managers and Sales Managers, who oversee Simpson Marine’s operations in our hubs throughout Asia. Each brings extensive yachting experience, inspirations and aspirations to their role, helping to grow their local boating scenes with passion and dedication.
Today we meet Angel Zhou, China General Manager, for 16 quick fire questions and an e-coffee. Enjoy meeting Angel and getting to knowing the Simpson Marine team better. If you would like to hear more from Angel, please send us any questions you would like her to answer for you.
Q: How long have you been with Simpson Marine?
A: I have worked at Simpson Marine for the past 13 years.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in yachting?
A: The lifestyle that goes with it. Yachting has changed my personality too, from being an introvert to an extrovert, and I’m happy about this change.
Q: What was your first memory when it comes to yachting?
A: It was back in 2006 in Phuket at the Kings Cup Regatta – I attended the event on the invitation of China Cup. It was my very first experience with sailing, boating and racing and I immediately fell in love. After that event, I started to work for the China Cup and had a lot of opportunities to sail in China.
Q: In your opinion, what are the key essentials that potential buyers should consider before purchasing a yacht?
A: When it comes to Chinese clients, they are certainly influenced by their friends’ lifestyles and with boating it’s the same. When buying a yacht, customers will usually consider the interior and exterior layout to make sure it suits their usage requirements, and they will likely have strong views about interior design with their preferred colours, feng shui solutions etc. The price is usually not the main criteria, as most people are willing to pay fair price for a yacht they really like and is well suited for them.
Q: What are some of your favourite islands around your country (China) that you personally like boating to?
A: I mainly cruise outside China and have been to many beautiful places in Asia including the Phuket islands, Raja Ampat, Malaysia and the Philippines, and in Europe the Balearic Islands, Italian and French Riviera, and so on. In China, I mostly go to Hainan and cruise around Sanya.
Q: What is your favourite spot on board a yacht?
A: Definitely the flybridge.
Q: What is the most unforgettable yacht sale you have been involved in with Simpson Marine? And why?
A: The Sanlorenzo SX76 as I really love this yacht with its modern sleek look and superb layout by Piero Lissoni. Plus, her owner has become my dear personal friend.
Q: What are your top three ‘must-haves’ for a boat trip?
A: Sunglasses, swimming suit, and wake surfing suit.
Q: What has been your most memorable sailing regatta?
A: It was definitely the 2014 Les Voiles de St Tropez with 300 superbly presented classic yachts racing together. I was invited by the owner of a Wally 76 to enjoy racing on board.
Q: What is your dream sailing yacht and why?
A: The Lagoon 77 is my dream yacht for her styling, huge space and living comfort.
But if we are talking about an affordable yacht to buy, then I would pick the Lagoon 46.
Lagoon Catamarans are my favourite sailing boats. Their price to comfort and functionality ratio is simply the best.
Q: Given a chance to sail anywhere, where would you go?
A: I never really went for long distance sailing but if there is a place that would love to cruise for longer that would be the Caribbean Islands or Society Islands with Tahiti, Raiatea, Moore and Bora Bora.
Q: What is your opinion of China’s yachting lifestyle?
A: Chinese people are still quite new to the boating lifestyle so their time on board differs from their Western counterparts. They stay more on the yacht, taking photos for social media and sharing with friends, and mostly entertain guests with good food and drink. This is only one side to yachting and there is so much more to be explored. I’m sure in future the local yachting scene will become increasingly more active with greater enjoyment coming from the sea itself and more use of water toys.
Q: What do you envision for China’s yachting scene in the next 5 years?
A: China’s yachting scene is quite challenging and needs time to thrive. There is huge potential in the Chinese market and I have positive mid to long term hopes. It will, however, require time, education, and more friendly policies to fully open things up. One positive element is that there are many overseas Chinese clients and yacht owners who have a lot of boating experience, and this will help the local scene to grow.