Member Spotlight: Evangeline Wong
Member Spotlight: Evangeline Wong
Buying a 51ft Leopard catamaran hadn’t always been the plan. But once Evangeline and her husband Kelvin laid eyes on the boat at the 2013 Singapore Yacht Show, they couldn’t help but fall in love with it.
“We saw the boat and were immediately attracted to it,” says Kelvin. “Before that, we used to charter yachts and really enjoyed the experience. So when we saw the Leopard and how ergonomically well-designed it was, we decided to buy one,” Evangeline explains.
They named the yacht Valencia, after their first-born daughter. “We chose the name Valencia for our daughter because we liked its meaning – brave and confident. And when we were thinking of names for the Leopard, we realised Valencia was very appropriate for a yacht too,” Evangeline shares.
At first, the yacht was meant for personal use. Soon, it became more than just a hobby. “From time to time, we would invite our families to join us on our sailing trips. After seeing how much they enjoyed the experience, we thought, why not share this with others?” That’s the story of how the yacht chartering business, Valencia Yachts, was born.
While husband Kelvin is busy with his day job as a banker, Evangeline runs Valencia Yachts full-time. “It’s a very happy business because we are passionate about it,” Evangeline describes. “It also makes us happy when we hear how our customers have enjoyed themselves on board,” elaborates Kelvin.
Aside from managing the business, Evangeline also has her hands full looking after the couple’s three children – 11-year-old Valencia, seven-year-old Victoria and the latest addition to the family, four-month-old Maximilian.
Evangeline admits that balancing being a businesswoman and a mum, especially one with a new baby, can be challenging at times. “Thankfully, Valencia Yachts has been around for quite some time so it’s very stable. We have a lot of repeat customers and word gets around about us quite fast,” she shares. “I think that running her own business has also given her a flexible schedule so she can spend time with the kids,” adds Kelvin as Evangeline nods in agreement.
“I get to see the kids grow up, which is my favourite part about being a mum. They each have different hobbies and personalities,” Evangeline shares. She describes Valencia as the free-spirited drama queen of the family, who is actively involved in her school’s drama club. On the other hand, Victoria is a bubbly girl and an avid swimmer. As for little Max? “Well, he loves milk!” Evangeline laughs. “It’s too soon to tell what his personality is like, but so far, he is a very easy baby to take care of. He doesn’t cry for no reason at all.”
Indeed, throughout the family photoshoot, Maximilian remains calm in spite of the blazing hot sun. Big sisters Valencia and Victoria coo over him. “They were both very excited when they heard they were going to have a baby brother,” Kelvin shares. “They are always helping to take care of him, especially the oldest one.”
The kids are too young for long sailing trips with Valencia, so the family has only ventured around Singapore waters. Nonetheless, the little ones love it on board. “When we first got the boat, Valencia and Victoria used to be quite frightened but now they can run about in ease. The rocking motion of the boat appears to be good for putting babies to sleep, Max seems to love it too,” Evangeline says. “Maybe when they are older, we’ll be more adventurous.”
For now, when they are not sailing nearby, family bonding activities take place on land. Weekend activities include jogging at Botanic Gardens. “We are also a typical Singaporean family so we love to eat. We are always sussing out good restaurants to makan,” Evangeline says. As Members of ONE°15, the family also enjoys dining at the Club. LATITUDE Bistro is one of their favourite restaurants. “The kids always look forward to the fish and chips!” Evangeline shares.
The dining facilities are not the only thing they enjoy about the Club. Evangeline and Kelvin describe ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove as the perfect marina to dock Valencia. “It’s a fantastic location and you can sail out easily to anywhere,” says Evangeline. “After all, it’s Asia’s most desired marina,” Kelvin adds on.