First Chinese Clipper Race crew member set to make history

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The first Chinese crew member to compete in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will make history later today (Thursday) when he completes an ambitious solo non-stop circumnavigation in 137 days.

Guo Chuan (GC), 47 from Qingdao, China was the first Chinese sailor to take part in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2005/06. Now a professional sailor, he set himself the goal of completing the 21,600 mile solo non-stop  circumnavigation in a class 40 boat named ‘Qingdao’ after his hometown.

After nearly two years of planning and preparation GC set sail from Qingdao on 18 November 2012 passing the Equator, Cape Horn, Weddell Sea, Cape of Good Hope and Sunda Strait before finally arriving back in his hometown where he will receive a rapturous welcome after becoming the first Asian to challenge the Class 40 solo non-stop circumnavigation record.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968-69, congratulated GC on his successful circumnavigation.

“I have been watching Guo Chuan’s progress with immense interest and wish to warmly congratulate him on this achievement. I am proud of the part that his Clipper 05-06 Race experience has played in his development as a sailor and know that this will lead him to even greater heights in the sport while encouraging more Chinese sailors to follow in his footsteps.”

Among those waiting to welcome back GC is Vicky Song, who will become the first Chinese woman to complete a full circumnavigation when she takes part in the Clipper 13-14 Race.

The Clipper Race, the world’s longest yacht race at 40,000 miles, was founded by Sir Robin with the vision of enabling ordinary people from all walks of life to experience the challenge of ocean racing. The next edition of the race, which starts this August, will feature a new fleet of matched ocean racers, the Clipper 70.