THAT capsize. Boat finance in Asia.

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 18 Oct 2012

There's a story (below) about ICBC providing ‘financial support' for Ferretti buyers. Don't skim over it because it looks a bit dull and doesn't concern 72ft foiling catamarans of something equally funky – this is an important story, potentially a game-changer in the Asian boat market.

In Asia, buying a boat – any sort of boat – has involved fronting up with the cash. A friend of mine, attending a Hong Kong boat show for the first time, asked ‘where are all the finance companies?' If you turn up for the Southampton Boat Show, or London, you'll find banks offering marine mortgages – probably not so many today as five or so years ago, but you get the idea. In Europe and the US, boats are something that can be financed, but not generally speaking in this part of the world.

Now the International Commercial Bank of China is ‘allowing potential customers to make use of ICBC's guarantee to make purchases.' That's a long way short of actually lending money, but is nonetheless an opener.

Lots of people have been talking about the ‘Asian boating boom' and particularly the ‘Chinese boating boom' for a long time – mostly people with a vested interest in making the business look better than it really is. There has been a lot of clap-trap talked and published about marine leisure infrastructure projects, booming 5 Gold Anchor marinas (empty), and a leisure boating fleet growing at exponential rates – most of it rubbish.

The facts are – China has a punitive import duty imposed on foreign-built boats (and most of the domestically-built ones leave something to be desired), and there is no cohesive national policy covering leisure vessels meaning that boat owners cannot cruise the China coast in the same way that they might cruise the Mediterranean – and in any case, if you have a big expensive boat then what's the point of wandering around on it anywhere that you can't be seen and admired for your self-evident wealth? Stay in the marina, no engines required (but that's a story for another time)!

Last weekend was the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's signature inshore event of the year, the St Regis International China Coast Regatta. In recent years this has acquired a well deserved reputation for being a ‘racers' regatta, as opposed to a cocktail party regatta (not that we have anything against the latter – quite the contrary). 20-25kts of solid breeze, 2-3m swells, broken boats and bruised crew was the norm until last year, when the breeze shut off. Maybe it's global warming, who knows, but CCR 2012 turned out to be a light air regatta again. Two races on day 1 starting in 6kts turned out to be some of the best breeze in three days. After a 2-hr ‘AP on shore', day 2 got one race in and then it was three guns. Day 3 needed one race to make the series, and got it, and one more besides, but it was ‘soft going' as they say in the horse business. Not enough races to bring a drop into play, so Peninsula Signal 8 had to swallow her 7th in the last race and miss out on the IRC 1 honours which went to Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns's EFG Bank Mandrake. Free Fire (Sam Chan) scored five firsts from five races to clean up IRC 0, and Anthony Root's Red Kite II repeated the trick in IRC 2.

Hong Kong to Hainan Race starts tomorrow, and goes to the new Serenity Marina, recently host venue for the Hainan stopover in the Volvo race. Wind forecast is better...

Guy Nowell, Editor

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club - Hong Kong to Hainan Race 2012
Lindsay Lyons,
The race record of 29h 25m 08s is held by Sam Chan's Ffree Fire, a 71' ULDB sled, and Chan will be chasing his own record on teh latest 'edition' Free Fire, a TP52, as well as looking for a first on corrected time to add to his perfect score at the St. Regis International China Coast Regatta.... [more]
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St Regis International China Coast Regatta - day 3
Lindsay Lyons,
On day three of the St. Regis China Coast Regatta, Hong Kong Observatory, Wind Guru and Predict Wind were all in agreement, absolutely no sailing wind was expected on the race track today until late afternoon. Competitors sauntered up to the Middle Island buffet, confident that a leisurely breakfast and perusal of the Sunday papers was in order.... [more]
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St Regis International China Coast Regatta - day 2
Lindsay Lyons,
While the sailors enjoyed their nth coffee and another piece of toast, Manzoni covered the extent of the race area, finally finding around 3 to 5 kts of breeze on the Lamma patch and ordering the removal of the AP at 1040hrs, giving competitors two hours to get out to the start area.... [more]
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St. Regis International China Coast Regatta Day 1 - a gentle start
Lindsay Lyons,
The talk on the dock was all doom and gloom as people discussed the dearth of wind forecast, however when Race Officer Charlie Manzoni reached the race area off the south east corner of Lamma Island, it was clear that, while not exactly ‘blowing dogs off chains', there was a healthy 8 to 10 kts of swinging easterly on offer for the first race.... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Team USA capsizes AC72 in San Francisco - Latest
Richard Gladwell,
Oracle Team USA have capsized their AC72 while training on Day 8 in San Francisco. Reports are still coming in as to the extent of the damage however there were apparently no serious injuries to the crew. The 72ft catamaran pitchpoled,during a bearaway. See the recovery on live video... [more]
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America's Cup: Meanwhile aboard Emirates Team NZ - Images
Chris Cameron,
Emirates Team NZ photographer was onboard the AC 72 sailing on the Hauraki Gulf for another training session on Day 13. For the first time we get to see what it is like aboard the new America's Cup catamaran.... [more]
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America's Cup - High Drama
Richard Gladwell,
As we write this we are watching two screens. On one, a webcam is tracking Emirates Team NZ's ASC72 as she puts in yet another training session on the Hauraki Gulf sailing in winds that are averaging 25kts gusting 35kts. And on the other, in San Francisco, Oracle Team USA's AC72 has capsized, and has drifted out into the Pacific Ocean.... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Team USA capsize - full video
See the full video of the Oracle Team USA capsize in San Francisco Bay in 25kts of breeze. This is the first AC72 to capsize... [more]
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ICBC to provide financial support for Ferretti buyers
Ferretti Group,
Italian yacht maker Ferretti and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have reached an agreement to provide financial support to potential yacht buyers. In a release, the company said that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the lender, allowing potential customers to make use of ICBC's guarantee to make purchases.... [more]
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Kaenon reflects on ten years of unique product success
Steve Rosenberg,
Over 10 years ago, two brothers from Southern California created Kaenon – a premium sunglass brand offering high quality sunglasses designed in California, and powered by a truly innovative and proprietary lens technology known as SR-91®. Over the past decade Kaenon has evolved – and we will continue to introduce best-in-class product offerings – but our commitment to our founding principles has... [more]
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Barcolana 44 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi images,
Images from the Barcolana 44 in Trieste, Italy by photographer Carlo Borlenghi.... [more]
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Vendee Globe: Blasting with Hugo Boss
Christophe Launay,
Top international sailing photographer, Christophe Launay was on hand to capture Vendee Globe competitor, Hugo Boss and Alex Thompson as they ripped up the English Channel in a training session.... [more]
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Rio 2016: Olympic Event decisons should not be made in a vacuum
Rory Ramsden,
ISAF have published the submissions to the 2012 Conference in four weeks. If it was a question of counting the number in support of the RS:X and windsurfing for 2016, the result of the vote to change the Mid-Year decision would be a foregone conclusion But it's not that simple. There is a lot of work to be done to ensure that Council takes the chance to reinstate the RS:X for both men and women... [more]
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