Qingdao Excited to See Sanya’s Success

27 February 2018

The Qingdao Organising Committee has declared the inaugural Clipper Race Stopover in Sanya a success, saying the addition of a second Chinese Host Port can only be a positive for the development of sailing in China.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race is the first in eleven editions to feature two Chinese stopovers and two Chinese teams, so Qingdao, as the longest serving Host Port and Team Partner of the Clipper Race, made it priority to come and see the inaugural Sanya Stopover.

The Qingdao Delegation, which included Madam Luan Xin, Vice Mayor / VP Qingdao Major International Sailing Events(Festivals) Organizing Committee, Mr. Ji GaoShang, General Director of Qingdao Municipal Sport Bureau/Executive Secretary of Qingdao Organising Committee, and Madam Zang AiMin, Executive VP Qingdao Olympic Sailing City Development Association/VP of Qingdao Major International Sailing Events(Festivals) Organising Committee, spent three days in Sanya, meeting the Qingdao team and exploring the Race Village created by the Sanya Organising Committee.

Mr Ji GaoShang says of the visit: "We feel that the events in Sanya stopover have been very successful so far with a Hainan style.

“Qingdao has been hosting six consecutive successful Clipper Race stopovers, which have become a grand feature of Qingdao city. We will once again provide the crew with a carefully planned stopover that will showcase the passion, charms and style of 'China's Sailing City'! Qingdao people look forward to welcoming Qingdao team and the rest of the Clipper Race fleet to come home soon!"

Following a dinner held in honour of the Delegation’s visit, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Over the past 15 many years, Madam Luan Xin, Madam Zang AiMin, Mr Ji GaoShang, and the wonderful people in the Qingdao Organising Committee have become not just important partners of the Clipper Race, but our very good friends. It was a pleasure to host the delegation from Qingdao here in Sanya and for them to see first-hand how sailing in China is continuing to expand and grow.

“I am very much looking forward to the Qingdao Stopover in March and to seeing the wonderful new Wanda Yacht Club.”

The final highlight of the visit to Sanya was witnessing the Qingdao being awarded third place at the Race 7: The Forever Tropical Paradise Race Prize Giving. Madam Luan and Madam Zang both joined the team onstage, and were delighted that Qingdao will head to its home port in second place in the overall Clipper Race Standings.

Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch says: “It was great to be able to show the Qingdao Delegation around the boat, meet the crew, and share the Prize Giving experience with them. They were very excited, especially because we got a third in this race.

He adds: “Arriving in Qingdao is going to be fantastic. The Qingdao Stopover is one of the best in the Clipper Race schedule. There is a bit of pressure as we had third place coming into Sanya so now the expectations are quite high but we do our best to achieve another good result.”

To add further excitement to the final race of Leg 5 from Sanya to Qingdao, Qingdao and fellow Chinese team Sanya Serenity Coast are currently sitting on top of the leaderboard, in second and first place respectively, and separated by just one point.

The Clipper Race fleet will depart for Qingdao on Sunday 4 March, with the 1,700 nautical mile race to be a race of extremes; the teams will leave the tropical paradise of Sanya to race to northern China where it has been known to snow on deck. After 10 to 12 days at sea, the Skippers and crew will be treated to a welcome to remember and become the first in the world to test the new Wanda Yacht Club. For more information about the Qingdao Stopover, please see the Qingdao Host Port Page on the Clipper Race website.

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