HKODA started the year 2018 with an exciting and inclusive event! It was the first Hong Kong entry in the Volvo Ocean Race and the first Hong Kong hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The city welcomed the VOR boats and crews at the Volvo Ocean Race Village established at the end of the old Kai Tak runway — another first (and, hopefully, not last). At the village, set in iconic Hong Kong harbour, some 10,000 visitors got to know more about Optimist sailing. Further, more than two hundred Hong Kong youngsters got to experience Optimist sailing in the Kai Tak development, between the 17th and 31st of January 2018.

During the two-week event, the Hong Kong Sailing Federation was able to bring together all the local sailing clubs, sailing associations and the Leisure & Culture Services Department. HKODA was part of this exciting event and, for the first time in our history, we had our own booth which featured two ‘real’ Optimists for display and photo taking.

During the day, our booth was colourful, and filled with fond memories from previous HKODA events as well as movies. Our volunteers also handed out VOR tailored leaflets, disseminating Hong Kong Optimist Sailing information to students and visitors.

The highlight of our booth was, of course, the Optimist boats — young children were able to clamber aboard, sit in them, pose for photos, touch and feel what it is like to sail an Optimist. Over the two-week period, we believe our booth received more than 12,000 students and thousands of other curious visitors.

Among all the activities organized by the Hong Kong Optimist Dinghy Association and Hong Kong Sailing Federation, was one that made us exceptionally pleased and honoured. This was the reception we had with two sailors from Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag. Young sailors and visitors got to be up close and personal with their sailors, Alex Gough and Ben Piggott, and the one-hour questions and answer session went by with much fun and pleasant memories.

The extra bonus from skipper David Witt’s team was an exclusive visit to the Scallywag boat itself where 48 of HKODA, HKLCA and HKSF sailors enjoyed a full tour onboard this Formula 1 of the sea.

A great souvenir for all of them and we are thankful to all the VOR teams for what they are doing for Hong Kong sailing.

We are also grateful to all the parents and volunteers who manned the booth every day, especially Johann Leven who was in charge of the whole Hong Kong sailing plaza, Kevin Lewis who managed to be there between two jobs at the Volvo (he was also a volunteer on site as the official TV driver), Christine Lau who took some days off especially to be there, Cecile Martin during the week, Olivia Chan, Michelle Ho and Walter Ip (on behalf of the Hong Kong Sailing Federation) who was running the Optimist show like a rock star !

It was a great experience for all of us and we hope that more young sailors are going to join the local clubs, grow our local optimist talent and expand the optimist fleet!

— by Gregoir Bourrut Lacouture; photo contribution by Michelle Ho, Cecile Martin, Gregoire Bourrut Lacouture and Simon Leung. For more pictures, visit us at the HKODA Facebook

Where racing begins :

HKODA extends the Green Fleet at ranking regattas

Building on the Green Fleet concept that has been a feature of Hong Kong Race Week over the years, HKODA is pleased to announce the extension of this success story to all its ranking regattas. Through the support of sponsors and the Race Week Green Team, HKODA will bring the necessary resources to each ranking regatta to enable a Green Fleet experience to be run alongside the main fleet.

Following the successful formula developed at Race Week, the Green Fleet experience will comprise a lecture, a practice race, racing and a debrief, repeated over two days. The aim is to introduce new sailors to racing, build their confidence and integrate them into the regatta scene.

It is hoped that coaches and clubs will use the extended Green Fleet programme to bridge the gap between their learn-to-sail schemes and the racing squads, giving sailors a target to aim for. Parents are welcome to get involved — no sailing experience necessary!

Events committed to hosting Green Fleet racing coming up are:
21-22 April HKSF Festival of Sport (run as HHYC Green Fleet)
Entry form and NOR available at

19-20 May Tai Mei Tuk Regatta
26-27 May Hebe Haven Open Regatta
Entry form and NOR available very soon at and

19-21 October HKODA National Championships
December 2018: ABC Southside (details to be confirmed)

Green Fleet: “Where Racing Begins”

For more information about the Green Fleet Experience, please contact HKODA, Gregoire Bourrut Lacouture, or visit and

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