On 30 January, Simpson Marine organised a unique experience for yacht owners from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan by arranging a private tour at Kai Tak Race Village including guided tours on TEAM BRUNEL, AKZO NOBEL and TURN THE TIDE ON PLASTIC’s racing boats, done by sailors themselves and hence very interesting for the visiting guests, with first hand insights on life during long racing passages, team stories and more.
After visiting the boats, until the tutelage of the evening’s host, VOR Ambassador and renowned sailor Nick Moloney, guests were shown the teams’ various bases (housed within shipping containers) and learned about Volvo Ocean Race logistics and team management. Nearing 30 years as a professional ocean athlete and adventurer, Nick Moloney has competed in 2 America’s Cups, circumnavigated the globe 3 times in the world’s most iconic yacht races and held over 15 World Sailing Speed Records. Nick also took Simpson Marine’s guests to the VOR boat yard where he explained about all the logistic issues of the race and the teams’ technical thinking after each challenging race leg.
Once the Village Tour finished, guests gathered at ‘the Globe sponsored by Clean Oceans’ where drinks and canapés were served during a short presentation from Miles Quiltmann, VOR Executive Director presenting the audience with a special movie, a summary from Leg 4 Melbourne to Hong Kong with some unedited footage that won’t be shared with the general public and a fascinating Q&A session with Nick and a special guest, Brian Thompson, British sailing champion with such prestigious results as the 2006 Volvo Ocean Race with ABN AMRO ONE, first British sailor to twice break the Round the World sailing record, and also the first to sail nonstop around the world four times. He also raced in the challenging Route du Rhum and Vendee Globe with high finish positions. Brian is now a part of team Turn the Tide on Plastic as NAVIGATOR.
Brian gave us some fascinating insights on his adventures with VOR and other races, his daily stories, awe-inspiring and scary moments, all leading to his conclusion that Sailing is an incredible adventure, and a lifelong engagement. He also touched upon the point that litter-strewn plastic oceans are becoming sailors’ reality and that we need to fight this all together, hence an environmental message carried by Volvo Ocean Race on the impact of the plastic in the sea with TURN THE TIDE ON PLASTIC’s participation.
The evening’s second speech was given by Patrick Yeung from World Wild Fund for Nature NGO. Patrick is based in Hong Kong and specialises in the marine world and tries his best, along with other local NGOs to protect Hong Kong waters from plastic pollution, a massive body of work for all of us to carry. Simpson Marine has made our official pledge to reduce single-use plastics from now on across the whole group, to help and contribute to this essential cause. Refusing the use of plastic bottles, plastic bags and straws can make a huge difference to our waters, and we will now be working in that direction.
Finally, guests were addressed by Mike Simpson, Simpson Marine’s Founder and Managing Director who also shared some insights on ocean pollution and carried his message to the yacht owners, who we know will take it further.
The evening was attended by over 80 guests, where owners and their families enjoyed this unique setting and encounter with an exciting aspect of the yachting community.
Thank you to all Simpson Marine owners and guests who attended!