Macau Yacht Show

Held in the Fisherman’s Wharf Marina on the Macau waterfront, the 8th China Macau International Yacht Import & Export Fair ran from the 1st to the 4th of November 2018. The show appears to be settling in to a regular, and more sensible, venue and long may this continue. Holding it at The Venetian was a joke and could not have endeared the organiser (Nam Kwong) to the paying exhibitors and public. Being so visible at Fisherman’s Wharf will also help to promote boating (and not just gambling) in the former Portuguese (1999) enclave.

There were fears that, after the damage caused by Typhoons Hato (Aug.18) and Mangkhut (Sep.18), the marina would not be serviceable in time. But, to the credit of those involved, the facility was looking fine by the time the first exhibitors arrived. These included China Pacific, Absolute, Marine Italia, Wah Hing, Aviva and NextWave from Hong Kong. From China, there was Hudson Yacht, Omnia, Jet Pon, Hubei David Yacht, Hainan Lifan and Sanya Sereneity Marina. The Macau Sailing Club, of course, was present as powerboard riders put on regular performances in front of the marina.

Macau is a very wealthy city. It is officially an autonomous region and reflects a mix of cultural influences. Its giant casinos and malls on the Cotai Strip joining the islands of Taipa and Coloane, have earned it the sobriquet, Las Vegas of Asia. Its three linking bridges are iconic and many a yachtsman can tell of the joy (and relief) of sailing under these structures after a long crossing of the Pearl River estuary.

Macau is charming. Still. Even the gaudy buildings and neon lights are appropriate and co-exist with a unique culture that is evident in the architecture, the historical sites (Guia Light and St Paul’s facade), the little Chinese shops, the arts centre and maritime museum. To a visitor, these places are accessible, relaxed and welcoming. Perhaps it’s because there is ‘care’ and, of course, the Macau administration spends; it doesn’t hoard like Hong Kong.

Despite having to deal with Mainlanders, the local people are mild, generally polite (apart from the taxi drivers) and not as abrasive as elsewhere along the southern China coast.

For 2019, let’s hope Nam Kwong improves its publicity here in Hong Kong as it really is a pleasant trip over and back on the ferry and a wander around the show, walking distance from the ferry terminus. No need to catch a taxi!

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