Volvo Ocean Race teams head to Hong Kong from Melbourne
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, representing Hong Kong in the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, yesterday (January 2) set off on the race's Melbourne to Hong Kong leg with six other teams. Representatives from the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Melbourne blessed the fleet at the Race Village at Melbourne's Docklands before the boats' departure.
The Volvo Ocean Race, which takes place every three years, is one of the toughest and most prestigious sailing events in the world. It covers a total of 45,000 nautical miles across four oceans and visits six continents.
The 2017 Volvo Ocean Race started in Alicante, Spain, on October 22 last year and will conclude in The Hague, the Netherlands, around the end of June. After the first leg to Lisbon in Portugal, the boats sailed to Cape Town in South Africa and then arrived at Melbourne in Australia at the end of December. Hong Kong is the fourth port of call and the boats are expected to arrive later this month.
The Acting Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, Ms Winnie Chan, and Melbourne City Councillor Mr Kevin Louey officiated at the blessing ceremony at the Docklands.
"We are so glad that Hong Kong is a host city for the first time in the Volvo Ocean Race’s 44-year history. This is also the first time for a team representing Hong Kong to take part in this renowned sporting event," Ms Chan said.
"We are sending our blessing to the Volvo Ocean Race teams, wishing them fair winds during the rough journeys in the coming months," she added.
A Hong Kong stopover is scheduled for January 17 to 31, featuring a Race Village and a Race Festival at Kai Tak Runway Park. Open to the public free of charge, the Race Festival will include sailing races and activities, concerts, entertainment, exhibitions and corporate hospitality.
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag is skippered by veteran Australian sailor David Witt and supported by Brand Hong Kong, with its iconic and stylish flying dragon logo featured at the Scallywag Team Base at each of the 12 stopover locations.
"The Volvo Ocean Race provides a good opportunity for Hong Kong to showcase its vibrancy and cosmopolitan aspects as Asia's world city to visitors to the Scallywag Team Base during the stopovers," Ms Chan said.
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