Sailors' Awards Night

The Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s Sailors’ Awards Night for the year 2018 took place on the 23rd of March 2019. Actually, there was a lot more to it than the title suggests as the evening included a Volunteers’ Appreciation Night, a New Members’ Cocktail Party and a Recognition of 25 Years’ Membership.

Some 220 members, friends and families filled the Garden Bar for the opening at 1900, just before a cold snap hit the territory with temperatures dipping to 16 degrees in Pak Sha Wan. But the conditions gave the crowd more energy and, after Commodore Don Johnston’s welcome, enthusiastic applause followed each presentation.

First to receive recognition were members of over 25 years (seven made it on to the stage) and a special thank you to Lesley Anderson for her support to the club over the last 40 years!

Next came the awards for the Hebe Dragons. Sail Training Centre chair, Harvey Jessop, presented a Spirit award to Seb van Ommeren, veteran race officer, Mark Newman, presented a Most Improved award (a famous 313 sail) to Felix Mulder, while 24 Hour Charity Dinghy Regatta chair, Bridget Chan, gave a Sailor of the Year trophy to Lumiere Ng and Peter Jessop. Club general manager, Lisa Keatley, gave recognition to Alisha Hester Okayama for her leadership as Hebe Dragons Optimist Fleet Captain and, finally, club race officer, Nigel Slattery, awarded Timothee Bourrut Lacouture a silver plate for captaining the Hebe Dragons Laser Fleet.

New members were also invited on stage to hearty applause from the audience who made it clear that the newbies had joined the friendliest sailing club in Hong Kong!

The Hebe Haven Yacht Club is home to Sailability Hong Kong which provides the opportunity to anyone with a disability (physical or intellectual) to learn to sail or have a water-based experience. Sailability believes that sailing increases self-confidence, independence, responsibility and self-esteem. How right they are!

So, it was right that the event should include recognition and awards to these determined sailors. Para Sailor of the Year went to Foo Yeun Wai, ID Sailor of the Year went to the ebullient Simon Mountain while the award for Most Improved Sailor of the Year was presented to Leo Purdie. Leung Yuen Wah won Volunteer of the Year and the School Program Cup went to the Caritas Lok Yi School. Sailability’s Mike Rawbone and Nalin Jay presented plates to Puk Chi Yeung and Foo Yuen Wai.

A new trophy was provided this time by the Children’s Cancer Foundation in recognition of the club’s efforts in raising money for this worthy charity. Lucille Wong presented the CCF Sailor of the Year trophy to Patrick Yip.

Finally, at around 2030, the Yacht Racing & Keelboat Sailing awards got underway with presentations by Gerry and Jan Daughton. Trophies were awarded to the ever-reliable Eric Tomter and Nigel Slattery for their race management and, fittingly, a Charisma Trophy was presented to the crew of Bits & Pieces by past-commodore, Peter Weiley.

Hebe Haven Yacht Club’s prized Sailor of the Year was presented by the club’s Rear Commodore Sailing, Simon Jones, to the affable Sunny Lo, skipper of the much-improved keelboat, LoTech.

A special award for Volunteer of the Year was presented by Vice Commodore Paul Arkwright to Bridget Chan, acknowledgements were made to Graham Young and Sandra Snell while Outrageous and Hot-Wired also received acknowledgements. Commodore Don Johnston made the final presentation to the crew of Bits & Pieces for Keelboat of the Year.

Then the party got going, with Kevin Lewis as DJ, carrying on till midnight leaving much anticipation for the winners of the 2019 awards.

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