Sailing Centre Open Day 2019

The weather did little to dampen enthusiasm at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club Sailing Centre Open Day 2019 as more than 2,000 visitors queued up to experience boating in its many forms – sailing in dinghies and keelboats, paddling on boards and kayaks, or just going for a ride in the club’s service boat. Something for everyone . . . even having your face painted.

Held on Saturday, the 4th of May 2019, the event attracted 20 exhibitors inside the Garden Bar and 21 car boot vendors nearby displaying anything from musical instruments and footballs to car accessories and Barbie dolls. You could even have your picture taken with a parrot or have a crochet bath mat made from recycled T-shirts.

Environmental friendliness was the underlying theme with vendors like Zero Impact displaying cleaning products made from fruit and vegetable extracts. Federico Galimberti explained that his company supplies Hebe Haven Yacht Club and has an online shop. The Open Day provided an opportunity for direct promotion and a chance to meet members, and the public.

There were Torqeedo electric outboard engines on display and the Marine Police set up a mini shooting range for aspiring marksmen. Chris Tilbe of Makara Surf Co showed his waxes and home-made products including a custom surf board and, alongside him, you could arrange a free ride on a Molokai paddle board. Culture Cove had 10 of its brands on display – these included sunglasses, trinkets and a very colourful rug designed by Tasha Cotton.

Well-known DJ and sailor, Kevin Lewis, provided lively music throughout the day, complemented by two talented young singers, one of whom played a keyboard. The lucky draw, hosted by the club’s sailing manager, Rob Allen, proved popular while fish balls, fried rice and hot dogs were being consumed at a furious rate by the hungry visitors!

And what a great day for the club’s Sailing Centre. HK$140,000 was collected from 40 adults and children who signed up for the eight courses on offer. The centre takes on all ages, from six to sixty and beyond. Junior sailors, training mostly in Optimists and Lasers, are selected by the club’s coaches to join the ranks of the Hebe Dragons.

Down on the dock and lining the slipway were queues of visitors waiting for an opportunity to sail a dinghy, paddle a kayak or try out a paddle board. Some 250 guests went for a ride on Hebe One – a great opportunity for young families to be together afloat.

The Open Day also saw the launch of the Sun Hung Kai Scallywag Foundation, an initiative that will provide under-represented youth a path to sailing certification and mentorship for personal development. Sun Hung Kai’s Robert Quinlivan and Rowan Logan were on hand to introduce the scheme which enjoys the partnership of Hebe Haven Yacht Club and the charity, Sailability.

Rob Allen ended the day with a debriefing and offered thanks to the team of staff and volunteers who, despite the weather, made Open Day 2019 one to remember.

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