Ultra-runner Wong Ho-fai has circled a full marathon around Hong Kong Island on a unique standup paddle board made of recycled plastic bottles, battling wind, tide and waves to complete the 45km voyage in just 10 hours and 40 minutes, including 90 minutes of break.
Wong, who says he wanted to push himself outside his natural running ability, says the adventure required “a high level of balance and concentration through tides and wind along the journey.”
Sponsor New World First Bus (NWFB) made the stand-up paddle board for the vegetarian swashbuckler using an old surf board and dozens of recycled plastic bottles from bus depots, part of a mission to raise public awareness of ocean plastic.
Wong set off from Sai Wan Pier at 4am, paddling east to Chai Wan Public Pier where NWFB and supporters held a kick-off ceremony. Wong rounded the northeast tip of Hong Kong Island, heading down to Siu Sai Wan, Shek O and Stanley, then northwest to Aberdeen, Cyberport and back to Sai Wan Pier.
Wong, whose given name in Cantonese, Ho-fai, literally means “very fast”, averaged 4.9 kph on the trip and reached a maximum speed 10.8 kph, according to his Strava record of the trip, humbly entitled “Morning Activity“.
Edwin Lau, Executive Director of The Green Earth, for which the project raised funds, said awareness was needed on plastic waste. “One fifth of waste produced in Hong Kong is plastic, and a huge amount is being poured into the ocean and entering the food chain. ‘Paddle for a sustainable future’ raises fund for The Green Earth to advocate the reduction of plastic wastes through public policy and from sources,” he says.
The trip was part of a series of eco-awareness fixtures supported by NWFB – Wong’s last adventure in the series was an intense self-supported race from Hokkaido to Okinawa in 2019, where he trekked 3,500 km in 73 days using a solar-powered stroller developed by NWFB.