Published: Thursday, 20 November 2014

Simpson Marine joined forces with long-time partner Beneteau to sponsor the Around the Island Race 2014 in Victoria Harbour on Nov 16. Hosted by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club this year’s annual event attracted more than 240 boats for the 26 nautical mile course, making it the highlight of the racing calendar. 

Simpson Marine hosted guests aboard a Beneteau Antares 42 motoryacht to observe the beginning of the race in comfort and up close in Victoria Harbour.

Simpson Marine And Beneteau Sponsor Around The Island Race 3

First held 150 years ago, the 2014 event began with light winds causing the boats to bunch up in the already congested harbour. An hour or so into the race the wind picked up at the east end of the harbour and provided stimulating close quarters’ racing as the yachts headed for open water. Crews hoisted spinnakers as the boats turned downwind to pass Cape D’aguilar and many kept them up all the way to the abbreviated finish at Ap Lei Chau.

Overall the IRC class had several Beneteaus including three First 34.7s – Calamansi, Goddess and Lady Butterfly; Kei Lun, a First 45.5 driven by skipper Geer Sonnemans; the First 35 Amaze with owner Eric Yueng and Leon Chan’s First 50, Tipsy Easy. These were just a few of the boats representing the Beneteau First series in the competitive big boat class.

Simpson Marine And Beneteau Sponsor Around The Island Race 1

Especially notable were a couple of great finishes by Beneteau skippers. Patrick Yam and his team were overall runner-up for that HKPN (Hong Kong Performance Number) series in Yam’s First 32s5, Baby Beluga. Alongside his crew, Shawn Kang – a Simpson Marine customer from China, drove the First 50, Lighthorse to first place in IRC Cruiser Class. The Sense 43 purchased by Deng Fan from Simpson Marine took fourth place in that HKPN category.

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Founder and Managing Director Mike Simpson attended the prize giving at Kellet Island where he presented two special awards. Lighthorse received 1st prize for Beneteau Around the Island and Baby Beluga was presented with 1st prize for Beneteau Overall HKPN.