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3 May 2007

hong kong's floatilla a blast with over 1,000 attendees

Fridae.com/Aids Concern, HX Productions, Fruits and Suits, HKU Queer Campus, Cocktails and Friends and Towel Club - these were some of the groups with their boats that set sail last Sunday for Hong Kong's "gay pride on water." Victor Chau recaps the day's action.

In its second year and with almost two times more participants and boats, Floatilla this year had 28 vessels setting sail on April 29 with 1,073 passengers from Hong Kong, the United States, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Photos by Victor Chau. For more photos, visit Fotos@Fridae (log in required).
Following last year's success and overwhelming response, this year's event saw a whopping army of some very varied boats: Cocktails and Friends, The Mermen, Fruits and Suits, Les Peches, HX Productions, HKU Queer Campus, Towel Club Speedo, Towel Club Beefcake, Concorde Travel, Sunny Boat, Fridae.com, Fridae.com/Aids Concern, Gay Invasion One and Gay Invasion Two, BOOBS, FMG Morning Party, Queens Boat, Floatilla Brazillia, Come to Cruise, Little Devis, La Perla, Morning Party, Party Demon, Freeman Yacht, Universal, and the Mother Ship.

Despite many of the participants of Floatilla comparing that this year's grey, windy and sometimes chilly weather to last year which was sunny and balmy, attendees were still upbeat and pleased with the turnout.

"Yes, shame on the weather. But the people on my boat were fun people. If you have fun people on board, it doesn't matter," said Ivan Ng, a 29-year-old Hong Kong native who went to Floatilla last year too. This year, he was with Floatilla Brazillia.

"When you get lemons, you make lemonade. You can't help the weather, or Mother Nature. So you've got to make your own party," said Albert Leung, 23-year-old Chinese American who set his maiden voyage this year.

Apart from the gorgeous weather from last year, participants also missed the arrays of boats, tied up to allow easy boat hopping.

"I love the boat hopping. This ability to mingle is the key ingredient that makes Floatilla work. Unfortunately the boat hopping is right at the tolerance level of these boat companies and though they do it sometimes, I think this falls into the grey area of safety," said Sharkbait, the mastermind who created Floatilla in 2006.

Due to its popularity, it would be technically difficult, if at all possible, to tie up all the 28 boats that were present this year (only 15 last year). Besides, boat captains seemed to have been forewarned of the scale of this party and became very hostile toward linking up their boats together, as this would increase the chance of damage, not to mention compromising the participants' safety.

Many claimed that the Mother Ship was the most happening boat of all as there were resident DJs Christof and Kenny who kept pumping the seas with uplifting house and groovy music. As a result, the Mother Ship saw the most visitors who were eager to get on board to join the party - but to no avail, as it was guarded by the most difficult door bitch (a.k.a the boat captain's partner) some of the participants have ever encountered.

"I wanted to go to the Mother, but the door bitch kept saying that the boat was already overloaded and sent everyone back," grieved Ivan.

While the possibility of linking the boats seems to be pivotal to the success of Floatilla, Sharkbait is constructively considering how to gather people centrally so that they can enjoy music, dance and mingle.

"My initial thoughts are to get a monster double-decker car ferry in the middle of the event. Then people can take their junk boats out, and board this mega platform, pre-wired with music and completely capable to handle the number of people. This model takes the junk boat owners completely out of the picture," revealed Sharkbait.

Dancing, partying and water sports might seem to be the focal points of Floatilla, many also took this opportunity to give back - AIDS Concern, a Hong Kong-based charity organisation specialising in the outreach prevention for vulnerable groups and support services for people with HIV/AIDS.

"[We have] produced a Waterproof Bag to raise money. We also came up with some interesting ideas activities such as Sexy Observation Tower, Sunbath Oil Pit Stop and selling 'Eat My Balls' Lollypops on the Fridae.com/AIDS Concern boat in order to attract more generous donors," said Ruby Ko, Marketing and Communications Manager of AIDS Concern.

Through the sales of those innovative products and services, AIDS Concern successfully raised HK$3,054.50. In addition, this will be topped by the surplus from the docking fees and administrative fees collected from Floatilla participants, totaling HK$15,700 (US$2,000).

Want to help out next year? Got something to say to Sharkbait? He would like to hear from you. Send him an email at floatillahk@yahoo.com.

Hong Kong

Reader's Comments

1. 2007-05-03 21:28  
after reading, i feel like to have a party on cruise.
starcruise for gays...
2. 2007-05-04 00:10  
Wish can be bigger and bigger in Victoria Harbour next year.
3. 2007-05-04 09:20  
Huh? Am i reading it right? USD 2K raised for the event over 1000 participants? That's like USD 2 per person raised...
4. 2007-05-04 12:12  
hehe....consider it is already very good for an average of USD 2 per person collected. Hehe
Comment #5 was deleted by its author
6. 2007-05-05 00:28  
Congratulations on the success of Floatilla. The pictures look so good. Do they have any video clips? The Asian guys are gorgeous.

Don't let too many people into 1 boat because it may sink...
7. 2007-05-06 09:38  
I wish to have larger boat next time so that more peopel in one boat rather than more boat.
8. 2007-05-08 00:53  
Wow, that was a big party!!!

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