Qingdao will sponsor an entry in the next two editions of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Clipper 09-10 and Clipper 11-12. Clipper Ventures are looking for Chinese crew prepared to take on the challenge of a lifetime and represent their nation around the world.
Qingdao was first brought to the attention of the world’s media as a sailing city when it hosted a stopover and sponsored an entry in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race. Since then the city has cemented its profile as a sailing capital with a second Clipper Race entry and stopover in 2008 and as the official sailing centre for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Over the past week Qingdao has been playing host to its third round the world yacht race with the arrival of the Volvo Open 70s competing in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. Each team has arrived to a spectacular welcome ceremony which culminated with the arrival of the Chinese/Irish entry over the weekend.
The Green Dragon crew were welcomed as heroes especially local crew member Guo Chuan who is the only Chinese crew member competing in this year’s Volvo Race. The occasion was not the first time Guo Chuan has received such a welcome, his first ocean racing experience was sailing to his homeport from Singapore onboard Qingdao in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race.
Guo Chuan says:
“I appreciate that I am lucky in that I am one of very few Chinese to have this opportunity. As a nation we have been absent from the sailing world but this is now changing. We need more ways our people can get experience and pass it on to others and especially the young. We now have some good dinghy sailors who did well in the Olympics and Qingdao’s continuing involvement with the Clipper Race will also be a help.”
This time next year the Clipper 09-10 fleet will be preparing to leave Marina at Keppel Bay in Singapore for the punishing upwind race to China’s Qingdao. This will be the third time the non-professionals have tackled the route that is now being billed by the pros as one of the most difficult in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The Chinese entry Qingdao has yet to win into her homeport and Chinese crew members who dare to take part in Clipper 09-10 could help make it third time lucky.
Representatives from the Clipper Race Team will be in Qingdao from 11 to 15 February and interviews have already been scheduled with potential Chinese crew including a 39-year-old IT specialist from Qingdao. No previous sailing experience is required to get onboard for Clipper 09-10 as full comprehensive training is provided.