Mike Simpson – How Freedom Influences His Passion
What is Freedom?
Mike Simpson bought a new Beneteau Oceanis 46.1, which he has named Freedom in tribute to a yachting lifestyle. Simpson with this acquisition rekindled his admiration for sailing. Simpson employs over 100 staff in seven territories.
Simpson believes freedom is ultimately what yachting is about, leading to the company’s tagline, ‘Yachting Freedom Since 1984’. He chose Freedom as the name of the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 he bought last year, over two decades since he last owned a sailing yacht.
“That word is in the Simpson Marine tagline for a reason. It captures the whole idea of sailing, enjoying the sea breeze and the oceans. It’s all about freedom, this sense of escape. That to me is the greatest enjoyment of boating, getting away from all the pressure of work, of city life,” says the Managing Director of Asia’s largest yacht dealership.
“It’s just the exhilaration of it. When you’re out on the water, you’re cutting yourself free. There’s this sense of total escape and freedom. It’s always with me whenever I get out on the water. You’re out in a different world and you can just let the pressure and stress drop away. Freedom is a metaphor for sailing.”
Beneteau was the first major brand that Simpson started representing and he’s now in his 36th year as a dealer for the iconic French builder. He took it on in 1985, a year after creating his company and a year before the launch of the Oceanis line.
“It’s just a blast. I’ve been doing eight to 10 knots relatively easily. This is a yacht you could happily take to the Philippines and you’d be roaring down there in the right wind,” says Simpson. “The great thing about this new Oceanis range is it offers many qualities of the First range, especially if you opt for the performance package. It’s for owners who want a yacht that’s fun to sail, light, fast and easy to operate.”
When Mike Simpson talks about freedom, he may not rival Mel Gibson’s rousing speech as William Wallace in Braveheart, but he’s still pretty convincing. And these days the word has a double meaning for the man who founded Simpson Marine in 1984 in Hong Kong, where he still lives on Lamma Island and makes his way to his Aberdeen office and back driving his long-serving Windy speedboat.
How Simpson manages his stress?
“I’ve got a great team around the region and particularly here in Hong Kong, where the main market is. While my team keep doing a great job and run the business, and I can still take a month or two off each summer to do my flying and carry on sailing, I’m happy with where I am. Whatever happens, the main thing is to stay active. I don’t plan to retire for a long time.” he expressed his passion towards his niche.