Qingdao starts search for 2015-16 race ambassadors

11 November 2014

In preparation for its sixth consecutive Clipper Race campaign, Qingdao Sailing Association has commenced a nationwide search to find the next Qingdao Ambassador crew who will represent China around the world in the 2015-16 edition of the race.

Qingdao, known as China’s ‘Sailing City’, hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic sailing events and is the longest standing team sponsor of the Clipper Race. Passionate about inspiring Chinese citizens to participate in sailing, up to 14 bursary places are being offered to race onboard the Qingdao team yacht, available to both ‘leggers’ and those seeking to complete the full circumnavigation.

Over the past six Clipper Race editions, Qingdao Sailing Association, working with Qingdao Major International Sailing Events Organizing Committee, Qingdao Administration Center of Sailing Sport, Qingdao Tourism Group, and Qingdao International Marine Club has offered crew bursary positions which allow Chinese citizens to compete as crew members in the Clipper Race.

Mr Liu Yu, Director of Qingdao Administration Center of Sailing Sport, Executive Secretary General of Qingdao Major International Sailing Events (Festivals) Organizing Committee said: "We’re hoping more sailors from China who hold a love of sailing and possess a spirit for challenge will apply for the Clipper Race’s Qingdao yacht crew member positions.

“Excellent sailors will be selected as the Ambassadors of Qingdao and will compete in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, promoting the good name of Qingdao as China’s ‘Sailing City’ at destinations around the world, and taking the brand awareness and international influence of Qingdao to a higher level."

Examples of past Qingdao Ambassadors include Guo Chuan, the first ever Chinese person to participate in the Clipper Race. After getting the taste for ocean racing as a crew Ambassador in the Clipper 2005-06 Race, Chuan was later recognised by the Guinness World Records when he was inspired to go on and become the first Chinese person to sail around the world, solo, non-stop on his own boat in 2012-13. Qingdao local Vicky Song also made history in the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Race when she became the first Chinese woman to circumnavigate the world, and many more have enjoyed the opportunity to race across oceans and take on one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges.

Speaking about her experience, Vicky Song said: “By making me a Qingdao Ambassador, the Clipper Race and Qingdao Sailing Association gave me an incredible gift. During my first taste of the race as a legger in the 2011-12 race, to then completing the whole circumnavigation in the 2013-14 race, I can tell you that the chance to race across oceans to incredible destinations, meet so many different and interesting people from all over the world, and learn valuable life and sailing skills, is one like no other that exists on this planet. There is no doubt that my experience on the Clipper Race changed my life. Take the opportunity and apply now. I highly recommend it.”

Those interested in applying for a Clipper 2015-16 Race crew place must be Chinese nationals, aged 18+, with a good understanding of English. They must also possess a passion for sailing, as well as a strong team ethic and the desire to work hard under extreme conditions.

Accepted applicants will face a three stage selection process. The preliminary stage tests applicant physical fitness levels, sailing and marine safety common knowledge. There is also a team work test which includes sea-based activities. Those who impress will be invited to take part in the second stage, to undergo sailing and comprehensive skills training.

20 applicants will then receive an invite to attend the third stage, the final selection, which will take place at the Clipper Race HQ in Gosport, Portsmouth Harbour, United Kingdom. Based on evaluation, up to 14 of the applicants will be awarded with Clipper 2015-16 race crew places and will become official Ambassadors of the Qingdao yacht, proud to represent China as they race around the world.

Applications are open until 31 Dec 2014. To apply, go to www.qdsailing.org, download the application form, and send it to [email protected].

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