Late last week, APB was glad to attend something that resembled normal boating fun in Hong Kong. Simpson Marine held a French-themed soireé aboard its recently-arrived roomy Beneteau Grand Trawler 62 – the Asia premiere of this displacement hull designed by Micad.
The 19m Beneteau brand motoryacht, being part of French Beneteau Group, inspired the evening’s theme which the local dealership had concocted in a very contemporary way – but laid on with relaxed old-school hospitality.
As soon as guests boarded, curious eye-catching artworks met the eye. The works – curated by Simpson Marine Hong Kong’s art gallery partner Amanda Wei Gallery – by two current-day pop artists, included cast-bronze sculptures of retro everyday objects in the cockpit by ‘street artist’ Yaz. In the saloon were a small series of Yaz’s brightly painted bronze training shoes and fellow French artist Ceet Foud’s ceramic cartoon-like chickens, called Chicanos.
The flybridge was transformed into a chill-out lounge in which Chandon bubbly spritzers took centre stage in a cocktail bar list that included a couple of refreshing colourful ones named after attributes of the Grand Trawler 62 – notably its 1,000 nautical mile range, named 1,000 Miles and Go Beyond. The artist Foud – who lives in Hong Kong – gave a short talk on his ceramics and paintings and oversaw informal group decorations (with marker pens) of two of his Chicanos; and at a mixing desk, next to a Foud painting on an easel, French DJ Halex played a particularly Gallic-inspired set.
Guests also enjoyed a look around the saloon’s open galley and large helm station, the three cabins on the lower deck, and enjoyed relaxing close to the water on the bow’s seating and sun pads.
Those attending said events such as this had been much missed in Hong Hong in recent times.