Please select your home edition
Edition
Harken HL Snatch Block 728x90

Life-shattering event sends 'rookie' couple sailing the world

by Asia News Network/Sail-World Cruising on 31 Mar 2014
Hydrus and her ’rookie’ crew - on a steep learning curve .. .
We all have different reasons sailing - the competition, the fresh air, the sense of freedom, or merely the love of the sea in all its moods. A few of us even give up everything else to sail away into the sunset. But what does it take for two NON-sailors to decide to sail around the world? The answer: some life-shattering event, as happened to Singaporean non-sailor, Ng Yong Seng.

Nine years ago, doctors told Seng that he had stage four blood cancer. He had more than a hundred tumours in his body, the biggest of which was in his lung and was the size of a large orange.

Ng was ready to give up hope – they call stage four the last stage for a reason, he thought. But his then girlfriend and now wife Wong Siew Wheng insisted he would pull through.

And he did.

Now, the 35-year-olds, who call themselves Seng and Wheng, are about to set off on what they hope will be the adventure of their lives – a round-the-world trip by sailing boat.

Ng’s near-death experience is what has motivated them to pursue the sailing version of their childhood dream. 'I told him when we got together that he had to take me around the world,' said Siew Wheng near the Marina Country Club where their S$44,000 (RM114,300) vessel, named Hydrus, was undergoing maintenance.

The couple first met as classmates when they were 14, and began dating three years later, when they joined the same sea sports club in junior college.

In the second year of university, at the age of 26, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Nine months of intense chemotherapy and radiation later, doctors pronounced him free of cancer cells.

For him, it was a second shot at life. For her, it was the end of alternating between crying as she watched him in pain and gently chiding him to 'Be a man'.

They tied the knot in 2011, and three years on, enjoy a successful life.

But now, not forgetting the dream, Ng has just taken leave from his job last month, and Wheng stopped teaching after the last academic year - so they could conduct 'practice trips' to Tioman and get the Hydrus prepared for departure in May.

It is an ambitious – and risky – plan as, by their own accounts, they are sailing 'rookies'. It is sure to be a big learning curve, as they only bought their sailing boat last year, and the longest stretch they have clocked on it is a couple of hours bobbing in Singapore waters.

They have put aside S$150,000 (approx $120,000) of their savings for the two-year trip, which will first take them to Indonesia and Australia’s Christmas Island.

Then it will be over to South Africa, the Caribbean, French Polynesia and New Zealand before coming home. Then they hope to start a family before hitting 40. That is, if all goes according to plan.

There is much to will them on, as accomplishing their goal is their way of giving hope to other cancer survivors. 'We want to show them they, too, can pursue their dreams,' said Siew Wheng.
Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 1Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous at the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta
Some photos taken by LaFoto at the 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous which was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta. The 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta from Martha Cove on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. It was a great regatta with a stern chaser race held on the Friday night, followed by a long distance race to Blairgowrie on Saturday in a glamorous five to ten knots, then finally an awesome medium distance race off Safety Beach in 25-35 knots...
Posted on 21 Feb
Super Series Sailing Spectacular
News arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to entertain Beau Geste and SMB During the week, news arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to keep Beau Geste and SMB entertained at the sharp end of the 52 bracket. Two other camps were linked to other former 52 Super Series craft, Phoenix and Spookie, but the one touted as going after Phoenix has denied it, saying that Hasso (SAP) Plattner of Germany has bought her.
Posted on 20 Feb
More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
Tenth blog from on board Perie Banou II
The irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans The sailor who cannot garden; the irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans he knows so well. After his ribs episode on the quay in Cape Town, and making more friends everywhere he goes, Jon is now making for St Helena. So here, in his typical rapid-fire style are his latest exploits...
Posted on 17 Feb
B&G adds enhanced Navionic functionality to Zeus and Vulcan range
B&G® announces the latest updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to its Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range.
Posted on 16 Feb
Beneteau Open Day at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday. The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday.
Posted on 16 Feb
Lisa Blair enjoys a sunrise crossing of International Date Line
At sea for 20 days, Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo At sea for 20 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo and unassisted crossing the International Dateline at 16:25:39 UTC (05:25:39 local time) on 11 February 2017.
Posted on 11 Feb
Six weeks to go to 2017’s Gold Coast International Boat Show
Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics. Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics, live entertainment and boating education every 15 minutes across a giant 3km display circuit.
Posted on 10 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Growing Fleet of Firsts for Queensland’s biggest GC Intl Marine Expo
A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape even more world-leading marine brands/businesses step aboard this week A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape as even more world-leading marine brands and businesses step aboard this week with first releases at Australia’s first major boat show of 2017 – the Gold Coast International Boat Show and Marine Expo in March.
Posted on 2 Feb