From Little Things, Big Things Grow(Hong Kong, China)- In late 2009 the Royal Hong Kong YC firmed up plans to purchase a number of new boats in partnership with members. A short list of designs was studied, and after many long hours of discussion and negotiation an agreement was reached with Jim Johnstone of J-Boats Asia, with the boats being built by Hudson Yachts in Xiamen. A few short months later the first J/80's rolled through the Boatyard gates. With a total of 16 boats currently ordered this is a spectacular start to a new fleet in anyone's books, and marks a new chapter in the already strong history of class racing at the RHKYC.
The seed of this idea was sown by past Commodore Inge Strompf-Jeppesen, and came from her own experiences sailing International events in one-design fleets that were owned and managed by a Yacht Club.
The new RHKYC fleet comprises of 6 boats owned by the Club in partnership with members and 10 boats that are 100% member owned. Hebe Haven Yacht Club has also bought 2 boats on the back of the fleet deal offered by J-Boats, and hopes are that we will be well into the twenties before too long.
It is expected that the new fleet will hit the water 'running', with a J/80 division being offered by the HHYC for the summer "Typhoon Series". Plans are for the fleet to base first at Kellett Island, move to Sai Kung for the summer then down to Middle Island for the start of the 2010 - 2011 season. Match racing and keelboat training programs will also be coming on line soon, and the Club owned boats will be available for use by members. In this photo is new J/80 owner Lonny Chen (J/80 #1211) with Roger Eastham (RHKYC Manager). For more Royal Hong Kong YC J/80 Fleet info and YouTube videos.