Located in the heart of a fast-paced metropolis, the recently launched Lantau Yacht Club at Discovery Bay on the southside of Lantau Island completely redefines the marina concept for a whole new generation of Asian mariners. Jackie Tang, the Managing Director of HKR International, helps us navigate the innovations and amenities on offer at the first new marina to open in Hong Kong in over a decade…
What is your own link to yachting? Is it a personal passion?
When you grow up in a famous harbour city like Hong Kong, you are never far away from the water. I think that makes developing a passion for the sea almost inevitable. In my case, a love of sailing is also a professional calling that comes from more than 36 years with HKR International, which has built, owned and operated one of the few marinas in Hong Kong since 1989. In fact, the company’s aspiration has always been to make DiscoveryBay a resort-style living community. Sailing and golfing facilities were included in the master plan from Day One, and the new Lantau Yacht Club continues that tradition and I am sure it will play a strategic role in elevating Hong Kong’s position as a regional yachting hub.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Lantau Yacht Club?
Well, the club was originally founded in 1989, but it was closed, renovated and then relaunched last year as a lifestyle yacht club and marina. In fact, Lantau Yacht Club (LYC) is the first new marina to open in Hong Kong in more than a decade. Although it is designed to meet the needs of Hong Kong’s growing sailing and pleasure boating community, I’m confident that its location, world-class facilities and modern amenities will quickly make it one of the most preferred mooring destinations in the region. Especially for superyachts, where appropriate berthing space is in extremely short supply.
For example, of more than 10,000 registered vessels in Hong Kong, about 100 of them are superyachts over 30m long. LYC is the only marina in the city with custom-built superyacht berths. The word is spreading quickly and the new marina has begun welcoming new superyachts. The Hong Kong-owned Pershing 140, the flagship of the Pershing line, is now based at LYC, as is the new Custom Line Navetta 30, which recently arrived in Hong Kong. The Princess X95 Superfly, a ground-breaking yacht from the UK, is now berthed at the club as well.
What are some of its unique selling points?
The new LYC boasts a plethora of exciting innovations along with the usual services, such as shore power, water, dockside phone and TV, black and bilge water pump out, bunkering and full marina security, as well as blindingly fast 5G networking. It was built on the highest standard.
Most marinas in Asia are cramped, but LYC is quite spacious. The main piers are five metres wide, and there are 148 berths catering to yachts from 10 to 60 metres, with an additional 38 berths for yachts between 30 and 60 metres. A key attraction is an alongside berth that’s capable of hosting mega yachts up to 100m in length – the only such one in Hong Kong. In another first, the LYC features concrete pontoons of up to 5m in width, allowing two-way passage of buggies. Without much technical reference, our projects team has gone the extra mile to research, try, and test different design and construction technology in order to fulfil and exceed stringent building requirements.
In addition, our commitment to sustainability and environmental protection is well demonstrated throughout design planning, construction and operations. Actually, that’s something HKR International has focussed on since the start of the DiscoveryBay project.
LYC members and visitors are never bored. Located in the middle of a high-end, resort-style residential community, there’s always plenty to do in DiscoveryBay. Outside the LYC clubhouse, there are frequent festivals and open-air markets, sporting events and beach-side happenings. Energetic individuals can enjoy the 27-hole golf course. If they’re feeling easy, the alfresco dinning district of D’Deck, which sits alongside the two retail hubs – DB Plaza and DB North Plaza – offer a host of culinary delights and retail conveniences for members and crew alike.
Last, but certainly not least, LYC is convenient, especially for overseas visitors. It’s a short, 30-minute drive from the airport, which makes flying in and sailing out a breeze. Best of all, the south side of LantauIsland also offers some of the best cruising in Hong Kong. If you just want some quiet time to unwind the bustle and hassle of city life, it is the perfect place to experience the tranquil side of Hong Kong.
Are there any plans for expanding LYC’s footprint? Any upcoming projects you can share?
Absolutely! Hong Kong has an impressive range of natural water resources, much of which is underutilised. I mean, along with one of the world’s greatest natural harbours, there is a beautiful coastline, mesmerizing skylines and idyllic outlying islands. And, as a long established trading port with a deeply-ingrained maritime culture, Hong Kong’s strategic location puts us in a perfect position to lead nautical tourism in Asia.
That’s a great picture, but there are gaps. Other cities are exploring the potential of their waterways with events like the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show. But, I can’t think of a single globally-recognised signature event that really leverages the harbour and the mesmerizing waterfront.
Successful on-water events would help raise Hong Kong’s profile as a yachting hub and create new tourism attractions for the city. Things like a large scale boat show in conjunction with the Wine & Dine Festival, or exciting power boat races. Water festivals, featuring a cruising parade of classic sailing craft and modern vessels, or even more structured harbour cruises could go a long way to put Hong Kong on the map.
There are still many extraordinary cruising spots in the region remain untouched and they are attractive to the growing affluent yachting community. Many governments in Asia are turning to nautical tourism to leverage on natural resources to remake their tourism industry. It is HKR International’s aspiration that the new Lantau Yacht Club will play a significant role to fill in the gaps and promote Hong Kong as a premier regional and global yachting hub and sailing destination.