J/Boats are set to open a J/World sailing school in Xiamen China. Based on similar J/World performance sailing schools in San Diego, San Francisco, Newport, Annapolis and Stockholm, the latest will be based in in Wu Yuan Bay. President of J/Boats Asia, Jeff Brown, describes it as “the future of sailing in China”.
To date, there have been two approaches to seeding sailing and yachting as a sport in China – the ‘Olympic’ route, funded by government and reserved for identified talent at a rarefied and elite level (and therefore not accessible to most people), and the ‘top down’ version where a (very) small number of wealthy individuals have acquired Grand Prix racing boats and then enlisted the assistance of private individuals from outside China to help train them and their crews.
J-World provide the boats, the facilities, and the training courses to get to people who want to learn to sail. Brown says, “We have already sent young Chinese sailors to San Diego for training as instructors. The local government in Xiamen has been extremely supportive of our efforts (and Xiamen’s Vice-Mayor Pan has even learned to sail!).”
The boats to be used for training are J/80s, a 26 foot ISAF-registered international sportsboat class of over 700 worldwide. Ten new boats have been built already at J/Boats Asia’s new facility near Xiamen, and were “beta-tested” at an inaugural J/Boats Invitational Regatta last weekend.
And the infrastructure is up and running, too. What was once the Xiamen pre-Olympic Sailing Centre has been gutted and refurbished into a quality facility with classrooms, changing rooms, administrative offices, and a lounge/social area.
J/80s have proved to be a highly effective training boat at the other J-World schools around the world. They are relatively simple and forgiving to sail, but offer exciting performance to keep students on the edge of their seats. Tuition in J/80s produces an almost immediate improvement in performance, making for a very positive experience for the student.
Jeff Brown is very positive about the immediate future of sailing in China, and the prospects for J’Boats Asia and J/World Xiamen in particular. “We like to think that this is just the beginning. We’d like to hold a J/80 Worlds in Xiamen.”