Leg 3, Cape Town to Melbourne, start day. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race. 10 December, 2017.
Hong Kong: Riding the crest of a wave
Hong Kong proudly welcomes the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 (VOR) to Asia’s world city for the first time. As one of 12 VOR Host Cities, a Hong Kong Stopover from January 17 to 31 features a Race Village and Race Festival right on the shoreline of Victoria Harbour with Hong Kong’s iconic cityscape providing a dazzling backdrop.
Adding to the excitement for local sailing fans, Hong Kong is represented in the VOR by Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, which is helmed by veteran Australian skipper David Witt and supported in the race by BrandHK. Among the seven highly-competitive teams, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag is easily recognisable by its grey, white and red colours and with Hong Kong’s “flying dragon” logo prominently displayed on her sails.
“We are thrilled that the Volvo Ocean Race is coming to Hong Kong for the first time in its 44-year history. This is a great opportunity to showcase Hong Kong’s exceptional and unique attributes as Asia’s world city to people across the globe,” said BrandHK spokesman Brett Free, the Deputy Director of Information Services.
“During the Hong Kong Stopover, visitors will be able to see that Hong Kong is not just a great place for business but also has a fantastic lifestyle that includes world-class sailing opportunities and abundant green space as well as a wide variety of captivating events that reflect the city’s East-meets-West culture.”
Hong Kong’s spirit of adventure
Steeped in maritime history and blessed by a spectacular coastline that stretches for some 733 kilometres, Hong Kong is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, offering people of all ages and abilities the chance to sail, windsurf, kayak, swim, and snorkel or scuba dive among stunning natural landscapes and rich biodiversity. Watch the video here.
The city’s hugely active sailing community is served by a variety of clubs that organise training courses, competitions and social gatherings all year round. Among them, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) is the oldest such club in the city, tracing its history back to 1849. Today, it is one of the largest yacht clubs in the world and organises a variety of local and international races, including the famous San Fernando Race and the Around the Island Race. The appropriately named Typhoon Series is organised by Hebe Haven Yacht Club in Sai Kung during the summer months while the Four Peaks Race, organised by the Aberdeen Boat Club, demands a combination of sailing and hill climbing skills.
Hong Kong is also a major cruise hub in Asia with the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal capable of handling the world’s largest cruise liners. Adjacent to the Cruise Terminal is Kai Tak Runway Park, which will host the VOR Race Village and Race Festival during the Hong Kong Stopover.
You may be surprised to learn that Hong Kong comprises 263 islands while about 40 per cent of the landmass is designated as country parks and special areas that are home to an astonishing diversity of flora and fauna. It is easy to escape the hustle and bustle of city life to go hiking, barbequing, picnicking or camping in the countryside.
Hong Kong: The best is yet to come
Since reunification with the Mainland of China in 1997, Hong Kong has carved out its niche as a highly competitive international city under the principle “One Country, Two Systems”. Apart from being a safe, welcoming and diverse cosmopolitan metropolis, Hong Kong has been ranked the world’s freest economy for the past 23 years according to the Heritage Foundation in the United States. With a tried and trusted common law system underpinned by an independent judiciary, low and simple tax system and commitment to the rule of law, Hong Kong is regarded as one of the easiest places on the planet to do business. Currently, more than 8,200 companies from Mainland China and around the world have their regional headquarters, regional offices or local offices in Hong Kong.
Above all, Hong Kong’s enduring success is due to the “can do” spirit of its people – a shared commitment to hard work, ingenuity and collaboration. These qualities are also in ample supply among the crews competing in the VOR as they tackle the toughest sporting challenge of them all.
We wish Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and all the incredibly talented sailors and teams a fruitful and memorable Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 and we welcome business visitors, tourists and sports enthusiasts from around the world to come and experience the unique lifestyle and business opportunities in Hong Kong. Click here to learn more.