Blue Sky Sports Club teams saw off all opposition at the Sai Kung dragonboat races, Owner Bryan Ng proudly noted. They won all of the main events, men’s, women’s and mixed.
Why were they so successful? “We did an awful lot of training.”
Bryan says his inspiration is his dad, Sam, who represented Hong Kong kayaking at three successive Olympics. “He’s still very fit at 67.”
With his brother, Frankie, Bryan set up Blue Sky Sports Club in 2001 as soon as he legally could on return from boarding school at Chichester. He was 18 at the time. Blue Sky now operates a watersports and fashion shop with flags waving opposite the Esso petrol station.
At Sai Sha Beach they also run a training centre that is open every day and attended by certificated instructors. Bryan’s close to sewing up just about everything to do with stand-up paddle boarding, the new big watersport. He’s chairman of the Hong Kong Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Association, which is trying to organise a Hong Kong representative team to compete internationally.
Paddle boarding is not a cheap sport. Boards range from $15,000 to 30,000 and paddles from $800 to 3000. On weekends and public holidays 70 to 80 people will be out on the water in Sai Kung practicing the sport. Bryan said a paddle board in strong hands can do 8km an hour.
Spending a lot of time on the water makes him mad about the rubbish floating out there. He sees junk operators tipping all of their garbage in the sea. With Paul Errington of kayakandhike.com and others he has been campaigning to stop this pollution. They take photographs and send evidence to the district council and other authorities. A warning sign has been erected on Bluff Island and education campaigns and beach clean-ups organised.