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Living the sailing dream in Penghu – Hsu Chen Chung


  

Chung  first  began  sailing  large  yachts  in  2008,  when  his  friend  invited  him  onboard  a  Beneteau  sailing  yacht. The experience was a memorable one for him, as the yacht cruised from Magong, the largest city of Penghu,  to  Dongyuping,  an  island  of  Wang’an  Town  in  the  Penghu  archipelago.  For  the  first  time  Chung  was  able  to  discover  how  beautiful  his  home  town  was when viewed from a sailing yacht, with water so crystal clear that it reflected the small mountains on the island. Chung also found that unlike surfing, sailing on big yachts requires team work in order to sail the yachtand  enjoy  the  seas  together.  Being  able  to  sail  with  friends  and  see  the  amazing  beauty  of  Penghu  was  extremely enjoyable.

After learning to sail Chung was able to continue sailing with friends around all the islands of Penghu. Enjoying this  pastime  so  much,  Chung  started  to  consider  buying a sailing yacht of his own. Despite being much younger  than  many  boat  owners  who  are  successful  entrepreneurs, after years of hard work in the sea food business in Penghu Chung finally had enough money to buy a small boat. Believing that Penghu was a perfect place for sailing, thanks to the beautiful conditions and nature, he knew he would be able to use the yacht well in the area. Persuading a friend, who also loved sailing, to join him in ownership they together bought a Beneteau Oceanis 38.1, naming her DREAM, and they established the ‘Dream Sailing Club’ in early 2017. This move meant that in addition to enjoying sailing around Penghu themselves, they would also be able to take other guests out to enjoy the same experience.

Penghu  has  proved  to  be  the  perfect  base  for  DREAM.  Attracting  most  of  Taiwan’s  sailing  enthusiasts  Penghu  is  a  beautiful  archipelago  of  90  islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait. The area is also home to the Penghu Regatta, the largest big yacht sailing race in Taiwan, which has been hosted every  summer  since  2013  with  the  support  of  Simpson  Marine  Taiwan.  A  keen  participant  in  the  regatta,  as  well  as  racing  in  the  event,  Chung  has  also  assisted  with  event  organisation  and  undertaking  photography.  The 2017 edition of the regatta saw a sailing team from Mainland China borrow DREAM, an experience that they greatly enjoyed. “It’s a fun race and Penghu is a beautiful place,” said the sailors. “We hope to race in the regatta again next year, and to reach more of the islands of Penghu.”

Helping to promote sailing around Penghu is important to Chung, who is passionate  about  promoting  the  sailing  experience  to  those  in  the  area. His  efforts  have  included  the  production  of  a  video  of  himself  sailing  in  Dongyuping, Penghu, which was very well received on social media. This hard work is paying off and growing numbers of guests from other parts of Taiwan have come to Penghu to charter DREAM and cruise among the stunning  islands.  “Many  people  have  seen  scenes  of  sailing  on  beautiful  seas in movies, on TV or in magazines and on the internet, and they might hope  that  one day  they  could  have  the  same  experience  somewhere,”  says Chung. “Now they know they can come to Penghu and we are there to help them achieve their sailing dreams.” A deep love for his hometown is the main reason behind Chung’s decision to live in Penghu and to promote the region for sailing tourism. “Sailing in the region is very easy, it’s not just for movies or Europe.”

Chung hopes that numbers of Taiwanese choosing to buy yachts and moor them in Penghu will grow so that he could help these owners manage the boats. “Many yacht owners do not have much time to enjoy their yachts, while many tourists come to Penghu want to sail around in this area,” says Chung. “I can help owners manage the boats and put them into a charter programme  so  that  the  income  of  charter  could  cover  the  management  and  maintenance  expense.”  This  programme  is  very  similar  to  Simpson  Marine’s  charter  programme,  and  a  promising  indication  of  the  changing trends  of  the  Asian  yachting  market  with  more  yachts  sailing  around  the  region and enjoying the yachting lifestyle. Truly a dream come true.   

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