Former Qingdao Ambassador Uses Programme to Make his Mark on Chinese Sailing Industry

14 March 2018

Wen Shuo Fan, a 23-year-old former Qingdao Ambassador from North Qingdao has made his mark on the Chinese Sailing Industry after taking part in the Clipper 2015-16 Race, using his experience to launch his career in the sailing industry. So we took the chance to catch up with him whilst he was working as part of the Official Media Team for the Sanya Organising Committee during the recent stopover at Sanya's Serenity Coast Marina.

Fan, who comes from a remote fishing village, was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take part in the Qingdao Ambassador Programme. He explains: “I was an Ambassador Crew for the Qingdao team entry during Leg 6, the Mighty Pacific Leg from Qingdao to Seattle, during the 2015-16 edition of the race.

“My hometown is a very small, traditional fishing village where my Grandfather is a Fisherman. When I was accepted onto the Qingdao Ambassador programme, the Government gave me the opportunity to join the race.”

Speaking about the process, Fan adds: “I got the opportunity to go to the UK to complete my Clipper Race Training. It taught me lots of skills for the boat.”

The Clipper Race Training gave Fan a chance to build on the skills he had already learnt since he started sailing in 2012. He comments: “I had sailed before, actually I was a team leader for my University Sailing Team, Qingdao University, and we had previously done lots of races in lots of different places in China.”

But he stresses the Clipper Race Training provided him with much greater levels of professional tuition on sailing skills, safety, and lots of large ocean racing yacht experience.

After completing his training, Fan joined the Qingdao team in its home port to race across the North Pacific, a race and adventure that he will remember forever.

“Sailing across one of the biggest oceans in the world is something few people ever get to experience,” he says.

“It will always be a time I treasure.”

Upon returning to China, the Clipper Race had inspired Fan to pursue a career in the sailing industry, and the Qingdao Ambassador programme has given him the skills, knowledge and expertise to stand out and gain employment. He explains: “After the Clipper Race, I was inspired to try and become a professional sailor.

“I joined a professional team and I took part in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 2016. I did numerous other races, one of which was the iconic Fastnet Race and I could bring so many skills to the team.”

Fan also works in Chinese sailing media and has already added some of the biggest national and global sailing events to his resume, including covering the event where it all started when the Clipper Race arrived in Sanya for the first time.

“I am now a member of the Official Media Team in Sanya to cover the Clipper Race at this brand new Host Port.

“I am so glad to be here in Sanya, its really nice and I have seen some old friends here.”

Image: Fan celebrates with friend and current Qingdao Ambassador, Hungry, on arrival in Sanya last month.

Next up for Fan will be the Qingdao Stopover where he will cheer on his old the team into his home port. He is keen to continue his work as a professional sailor and member of the sailing media two promote two core objectives; encourage high levels of safe sailing, and high levels of sailing performance, in China.

Fan says: “In China, sailing skills, the technology and even some of the safety levels have some way still to go in order to get to the standard of the Clipper Race and UK, so I want to work to help improve that.”

The Qingdao Stopover is due to kick off on Thursday 15 March with arrival ceremonies at the new Wanda Yacht Club, a state of the art marina in the West Coast New Area of Qingdao. A host of crew, visitor and business activities and events will then take place throughout the stopover before Race 9 starts on Friday 23 March. To read more about the Qingdao Stopover, head to the Host Port Page.

Join The Race