The Hong Kong Sailing Federation (HKSF) is the national authority for the sport of sailing in Hong Kong. Its mission is to develop sailing in Hong Kong, and to advance the interests of the boating community.
The HKSF administers an extensive Training Scheme that sees thousands of members of the public learn to sail every year at one of the many recognised training centres spread across the region. Our scheme also promotes excellence with higher level courses leading to representation at national and International level.
Surrounded by sea, sailing and water-sports are an important part of Hong Kong, they are easy to access and open to all.
Run by a council, HKSF represents interests of the recreational boating and yachting circles of Hong Kong to the Hong Kong SAR Government. It serves to promote, develop sailing sport and safety in boating of Hong Kong. Each local club or association has to be certified by HKSF in order to be qualified for teaching sailing and seamanship. And every sailing official has to undertake the training courses organised by HKSF in order to be formally qualified for participation.
As the governing body for the sport in the region, the HKSF also act as an intermediary connecting local sailing to the international stage, with affiliation to the following organisations:
- World Sailing (ISAF)
- the Asian Sailing Federation (ASAF)
- Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC)
HKSF has been dedicated to ensuring that all the yacht racing activities in Hong Kong are being run fairly in accordance with international rules, and determining the eligibility and selections of sailors who are going to represent Hong Kong at international events, with Olympics Games and Asian Games in particular.
To date, HKSF continuously offers membership to individuals, associations and clubs, providing greater involvement for sailors, organisations and the general public.
A History of Sailing in Hong Kong and the HKSF
There is no official history to indicate the beginning of organised sailing, but the first official regatta in Hong Kong was organised by the Royal Navy back in 1845. As interest in sea activities increased, the Victoria Regatta Club was formed as the first official regatta club in Hong Kong in 1849, with a regatta event being held to mark the formation of the club. Subsequently, the regatta was held annualy under the same format except during 1854 to 1862.
By 1869, a new club named the Yacht Club was founded to meet the increased interest in sailing in the territory and in 1893 it was renamed to become the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. As more types of sailing boats were needed to meet the demands of the members, the Hong Kong Corinthian Sailing Club was founded. Then in 1920 the club merged with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and organised regattas started to take place more regularly. As the years progressed, more boat classes were added to the race events.
Beginning in the 1950s, dinghy racing started to get popular. In 1961 the Royal Air Force Sailing Club brought in the first nine Enterprises, which were then regularly used for racing across Hong Kong.
Further development of the sport of sailing was witnessed with the establishment of Hebe Haven Yacht Club in 1963 in the picturesque bay of Pak Sha Wan in Sai Kung, where the surrounding coastline and nearby islands in Port Shelter still provides some of the best sailing waters and beaches in Hong Kong.
Approaching 1964, sailors turned their attention towards Tokyo Olympics, an organisation was required for Hong Kong to send a team of sailors to participate. Thus, the Hong Kong Yacht Racing Association was formed under the chairmanship of Bill Hancock in 1962 and accepted as the national governing body for yacht racing in Hong Kong. With the successful formation of the Yacht Racing Association, Hong Kong sailors were then able to compete at the Olympics for the very first time in 1964.
In 1967, like-minded yachting enthusiasts who wished to enjoy access to the seas off the southern side of Hong Kong Island founded the Aberdeen Boat Club.
Hong Kong Yacht Racing Association was then officially incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in 1970, renamed as the Hong Kong Yacht Association, to further promote yachting activities.
During the late 1970s, windsurfing as a class of yachting/sailing was introduced to Hong Kong. In order to be able to further develop and support the sport, the Windsurfing Association of Hong Kong was formed in 1979. This helped to achieve great success for the sport, as windsurfer Lee Lai Shan made history at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics by winning gold medal in the class of women’s windsurfing, making it first ever gold medal win for Hong Kong.
In 2004, following the change of name of the International Sailing Federation to World Sailing, the Hong Kong Yacht Association made the decision to change its name again, becoming the Hong Kong Sailing Federation (HKSF) that we know today.
Seeking to make sailing a more inclusive sport in Hong Kong, Sailability Hong Kong was established in 2009, providing training and programs to the disabled and under-represented minority groups in Hong Kong. They made a mark for sailing in Hong Kong when they were able to send a team of para sailors to Asian Para Games representing Hong Kong in South Korea by 2014.
As the sport expands and grows, the Hong Kong Sailing Federation continuously connects with different organisations to develop sailing. To date, the Hong Kong Sailing Federation has 4 member clubs and 30 member associations.
List of Presidents of HKSF by years:
1970 – 1971 H. Spencer Cooper
1972 – 1974 D.A.C.T. Hancock
1975 – 1981 A.R. Maynard
1981 – 1990 John Park
1990 – 1991 D.C. Bray
1991 – 1992 L. Chang
1992 – 1995 Bertrand de Speville
1995 – 2014 Karl Kwok
2014 – 2016 Warwick Downes
2017 – 2021 Tong Yui Shing
2021 – Cheung Mei Han