Hong Kong set to take prestigious Volvo Ocean Race by storm
29th June 2017
The magnificent Scallywag will be skippered by the capable hands of veteran sailor David Witt.
(Photo credit: Scallywag Youtube channel)
It was announced that the fifth entry to the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will sail under the name Scallywag, which will represent Hong Kong for the first time in the Race's 44-year history.
In addition, Hong Kong play host to the 15-day Volvo Ocean Race Festival in Kai Tak Runway Park as teams arrive in the month of January next year.
A series of races will be held in and around Hong Kong during the stopover including the competition race, a Victoria Harbour race and an Around the Island race.
The public are welcome to attend free of charge and will have the chance to enjoy live music, food and drink as well as participate in a series of sailing-themed activities.
The campaign is backed by Lee Seng-huang, Group Executive Chairman of Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited.
Mr Lee grew up in Sydney, Australia, a stone’s throw from the start line of the iconic Sydney to Hobart Race and purchased the 100-foot Scallywag in 2016.
"This campaign will showcase world class competitive offshore sailing in Hong Kong and China with the first time stopovers for the Volvo Ocean Race in Hong Kong and Guangzhou," said Lee.
"I have every confidence that Scallywag will make Hong Kong proud."
If the maxi yacht's performance since is anything to go by, Hong Kong are certainly primed to leave a mark on the Volvo Race, having already broken several speed records.
The team will be skippered by Hong Kong-based David Witt who returns to the Volvo Ocean Race following a 20-year absence since the 1997-98 edition on board the Innovation Kvaerner under former Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.
Having competed the challenge over 20 times, the Australian is regarded as one of the best heavy weather sailors in the sport and is keen to test his mettle in the Southern Ocean when the fleets heads south later this year.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the Scallywag team to represent Hong Kong on a truly global stage,” said Witt.
“With the race returning to a more traditional route and competing in One Design yachts, we feel that we are capable of achieving something that has been a life long personal dream.”
With more than five months to go before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, the starting grid is filling up.
The race will start from Alicante, Spain on 22 October, with the fleet capped at eight One Design Volvo Ocean 65 racing yachts and the 2017-18 edition will see the teams cover a total of 50,000 nautical miles in a race that features 12 Host Cities, finishing in The Hague at the end of June.