Cheoy Lee Expands in Europe with Launch of Mediterranean Dealership
Thursday 9 February 2012
Cheoy Lee Riviera is the exclusive distributor for Cheoy Lee in Europe, and offersdiscerning buyers a range of high quality and high performance custom yachts from 60 to 118 feet (18 to 36 metres).
Founded by Athos Cleanthous and Nick Lockett in 2012, the partners are revitalising the 148-year old Hong Kong boat builder’s brand in Europe. Nick, a former Saatchi & Saatchi director, with more than 40 years marketing and business experience, is complemented by Athos’s 20 years marine experience as a qualified captain, engineer and boat builder.
Cheoy Lee is internationally renowned for its commitment to quality, comfort, performance and style. With decades of pioneering boat-building provenance, today’s range is designed by European and USA marine architects, with the build overseen by the Hong Kong-based Cheoy Lee brothers.
Each yacht has its own personality and is crafted to a buyer’s bespoke requirements. Whether an owner is looking for exploration or adventure, family cruising, speed or sports fishing, every Cheoy Lee is comfortable and combines a long-lasting build quality with best in class technology and performance.
Cheoy Lee Riviera is based near Nice and offers owners direct access to the sailing playground of the Mediterranean. Nick and Athos offer their clients a fully managed design and build service, plus dedicated after sales through an established network.
Three ranges and 10 models provide choice of size, style and cruising speed, including the Serenity, Bravo, Global and Alpha series. Many within the range feature monocoque hulls, which ensure rigidity, stability, low maintenance and an excellent record of safety, sea worthiness and reliability. Nick Lockett says: “Cheoy Lee has a reputation for building quality yachts that are strong, stylish, comfortable, and packed with performance. Whether a buyer is interested in family cruising in comfort or adventurous expeditions, Cheoy Lee is the yacht brand to invest in.”
Athos Cleanthous adds: “Anyone who knows about yachts knows that Ceoy Lee is not just a market leader and pioneer, but is dedicated to quality of build and after sales service. We guarantee a personal service and ensure every boat retains its quality and value for many years sailing”.
Nick has advertising running through his veins thanks to more than 40 years’ industry experience. His career began at advertising agency, Garland Compton, in 1971, before it was taken over by the notorious Saatchi & Saatchi brothers in 1976. Nick thrived at the company and by 1980 he was group media director with a team of 12, working on a number of high profile clients, including British Airways.
Highlights of his early advertising career include the launch of The Independent newspaper, the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine and running three Conservative general election campaigns, including the infamous “Labour isn’t Working campaign”.
Success saw Nick progress through the ranks and in 1984 he was appointed Saatchi board director.
In 1988 Zenith Media was formed to handle the company’s media buying operations, and Nick was appointed to the division’s board of directors.
He left Saatchi’s in 1990 and co-founded BLM, an independent media planning and buying agency. Eighteen years later he sold to international advertising and communications group, Havas.
Nick is married and lives in the South of France. He has four children and a collection of classic cars, including a 1963 E Type “Eagle” Jaguar in “immaculate condition,” and a replica Aston Martin DBR2.
Living in France introduced Nick to yachting and in 2010 he got together with seasoned boat builder and experienced captain, Athos Cleanthous. The duo complement each other – Athos, is an expert on all things marine and Nick is a seasoned marketer with extensive business expertise – and decided to go into partnership and set up the European dealership for the prestigious 148-year old Hong Kong yacht brand.
Athos grew up living close to the ocean and started sailing and diving at a very early age. At 18 he was lured by ideas of a great adventure in the USA and moved to New York. But, missing the sun and sea he made his way to Miami to pursue a career on boats, where he secured a job as a delivery crew from Miami to St Martin Island in the Caribbean. During this voyage Athos learnt that he could travel and make money while doing what he loves most, sailing. Over the next two decades he worked on various charter and private yachts, as well as overseeing the construction of boats on behalf of private owners.
As a result, Athos has lived all over the world in places as far flung as the UK, USA, Caribbean, Venezuela, Italy, Australia and Southeast Asia. In 1997 he completed his captain qualifications in Plymouth, UK, but never one to rest he has continued to add to his experience with marine engineering training.
Athos was first introduced to Cheoy Lee in 2007, when visiting Hong Kong to oversee the construction of a Bravo 95 sports fishing yacht. Athos hand picked the key components and personally delivered it to the Mediterranean, after sea-testing the boat himself. Impressed by the yard’s commitment to quality and innovation, he has been an advocate of Cheoy Lee ever since.
In 2009 Athos met former Saatchi & Saatchi director, Nick Lockett, and after recognising each other’s complementary skills, they formed Cheoy Lee Riviera with a mission to revitalise the 148 year old Hong Kong boat yard’s brand in Europe.
Athos lives with his wife and four daughters near Cannes in the South of France.