International entrant Steve Ho from Hong Kong, attended the Melbourne Osaka Cup 2018 information session at SYC in March 2016 out of interest and signed up that night to undertake the race. Surfdude is a Felci 45 and has competed in a number of races from Hong Kong to the Philippines, Vietnam, Hainan and Taiwan.
Steve has been sailing for about 10 years, starting out in small off the beach yachts. His first boat was a 35 footer and after competing in local club competition, it didn’t take long for Steve to realize that he really enjoyed ocean racing. After competing in a number of events throughout Asia, Steve decided that he needed a bigger boat if he was seriously going to compete offshore and purchased Surfdude. Why Surfdude as a name? Steve says that his other passion is surfing and so it was an obvious name to choose.
John has been sailing for well over 40 years in a variety of vessels including multi-hulls. John currently runs a sailing school on the Sunshine Coast. He’s competed in the Osaka Cup twice before in 2003 and 2007 and has recently teamed up with Steve to do the 2018 event.
Steve is looking forward to sailing with just a crew of two, having done all his sailing so far with a full crew. He’s considering bringing Surfdude down for the race sailing single handed which he says has always appealed to him.
Steve plans to upgrade existing instruments, overhaul the engine, incorporate a furling system, along with a number of other improvements for short handed sailing. Later in 2017 he will compete in the Hong Kong to Vietnam race, ship the boat to Singapore, sail to Brisbane from there, and then to Melbourne. Steve has further plans after arriving in Japan, including the Okinawa to Taiwan race.