I own a Beneteau Oceanis 51.1 in its First Line version, with a longer mast and deeper keel. We named it Legende II, as this is my second boat in Hong-Kong… a big upgrade from my previous Legende, which was a J105.
We had been looking for a 15 metre sailing boat that could do both great cruising and great racing, to enjoy all aspects of Hong Kong’s sailing life, within a reasonable budget. We looked at several options, including models from Bavaria, Solaris, Elan, Dehler, etc. We even had a trial on a magnificent Swan 54. When we tried the Oceanis 51.1, it was love at first sight. My son and daughters – the three of them keen racers on 29er dinghies – loved its performance and handling. My wife loved the vast and comfortable interior and cockpit. I must say I liked both. I was also keen to be able to handle the boat with very limited crew, which this boat achieves perfectly, with all its lines accessible near the helm stations and four solid power winches.
We have a mooring at the ABC in the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.
We are out on our boat almost every weekend, for a variety of occasions. We like to race in the ABC Waglan and summer series as well as in classic events like the Around the Island Race or the Beneteau Cup, battling for one of the top spots on the finish line in our HKPN category (yes, Legende II is fast!!). We also like to go out for a day cruise with friends, dropping the anchor in one of our favorite spots, like Turtle Bay or Potoi, for a picnic and swim. Then, when we have more time, we head out to the Saikung area, where we hop from island to island, enjoying amazing spots like Bluff Island or Millionaire Bay.
Last year’s Around the Island race was particularly memorable. Beautiful weather. Windy but not too much. There were 10 of us onboard, enjoying a fantastic day of leisurely racing. What was really amazing was that, thanks to changing winds, we almost did the entire race under spinnaker, except the last leg to the finish line in Victoria Harbour. Since we were a bit ahead of the pack (51 foot and a 180 sqm spinnaker can really make you fly), we could see dozens of deployed spinnakers behind us against the beautiful Hong Kong scenery. It was an amazing sight!
Waking up early in the morning in Bluff Island’s beautiful cove and jumping into the crystal-clear waters for a swim to the beach. Then enjoying the view of our boat, anchored in the bay, completely alone, as if we had landed on a desert island…. at least for a few hours until other visitors arrive for the day.
At the helm, in a good breeze, feeling the extraordinary sensations of power and speed that this boat generates when it’s charging ahead!
On my bucket list is a cruise to Phuket, with stops in Palawan, Brunei, Singapore, etc. I’d also love to do a trip to Vietnam.
A lot of sailing in Hong Kong waters, with a few escapes to the Philippines or Vietnam. Maybe we will participate in one of Hong Kong’s offshore races to China or Vietnam. And a big dream, at some point, is to sail all the way back to Europe through the Indian Ocean.
I have always been around boats since my dinghy-sailing childhood. I had been chartering boats in the Mediterranean for many years, sailing with family along the French Riviera, in Greece, Italy and Spain. I was very keen to move to Hong Kong 13 years ago because I knew Hong Kong was a sailing paradise, where you can pursue a career in large global firms, and yet always be only 20 minutes away from your boat.
This is a very difficult question. On one hand, I am very attracted by Beneteau’s First 53, which looks absolutely amazing, so sleek and powerful. It would be amazing for racing. On the other hand, if we decide to cruise back to Europe someday, we may want to do that on an even more spacious catamaran…why not a Lagoon 46 or a Lagoon 51?
A good bunch. They love what they do. Eager to help. Responsive. Fun (great parties during Beneteau Cup). Not cheap though…Haha!
4th September 2023
29th August 2023
29th August 2023