News from our Asian Paddling correspondent Liz Mifsud (former PD) who is now paddling for Hong Kong Outrigger Canoe Club.

It has been a big year for the paddling community in Hong Kong. Initially paddling here, so close to Shanghai the home of dragon boating, involved exclusively that  – dragon boating. Now in addition to several hundred (yes, hundred!) dragon boating teams, there at least five outrigger canoe clubs, an active single craft scene and a fast growing number of paddling events for all kinds of crafts. My club, Hong Kong OCC (HKOCC), while not the largest or most experienced, is the fastest growing, and I suspect the most fun! We’ve now got 4 OC6 and two dodgy OC2s.  

Big regattas include:

"Round the Island" in November each year 40km changes race with a variety of craft (OC, ocean skulls, catamarans etc) all circumnavigating Hong Kong Island. This year we were joined by teams from HK, Singapore and Team Hawaii each of whom participated in the shorter sprint "around the little island" the day before.

"Dragons Back " 24k Surf Ski, OC1, OC2 race from Sai Kung to Hong Kong Island. Big names and big seas.

But the highlight of the year was the Heineken Cup in Guam and the Micronesia Cup in Palau. Neither of these races will challenge Molakai or Hammo anytime soon, but for beautiful ocean, gentle people and a whole lot of very keen paddlers makes for a great "road trip".

Next year Heineken and Micronesia Cups are a both in Guam and a week apart… perfect for a quick trip over to beautiful Palau or Saipan for some of the world’s best diving and sunsets. See you there perhaps? Should in the meantime you be in Hong Kongand after a paddle, look upHong Kong OCC. We’d be happy to have you down!