​Qingdao boasts high quality Clipper Race candidates in competition to promote City


One of long-standing Clipper Race Team and Host Partner Qingdao’s key campaign activations is an ambassador tag team which aims to promote the city whilst tackling the world’s oceans.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race selection process took place recently and was a tightly fought contest which saw a high level of candidates battling it out over an intensive three day competition. At the end of the process fourteen candidates were selected, with six women and eight men, ranging from aged 20 to 48, being chosen to represent Qingdao in the upcoming race.

The selection process was documented by national broadcaster QTV with daily highlights packages airing over three evenings, reaching a potential audience of 1.8 Million.

These future ambassadors include students, teachers, a retired Navy Officer and a cruise ship photographer. College student Zheng Yi is the youngest ambassador selected but despite his youth, he is an experienced sailor, having competed in both the Qingdao Sailing Team and Shandong Sailing Team.

Qingdao first implemented the ambassador tag team in 2005 as a unique way of promoting the city and its event hosting facilities, to build on its Olympic legacy and to inspire the Chinese nation by encouraging future sailing participation.

The team of Qingdao Ambassadors will carry the city’s image around the world via extensive regional, national and international media exposure. Coverage extends over 18 months, beginning at the initial crew selection process, and following each member of the relay team’s experiences, through to the race finish.

To date the campaign has achieved far beyond initial expectations. 41 Chinese nationals have taken part in the Clipper Race so far with notable standouts including Guo Chuan, the first Chinese crew member to sail in the Clipper Race. Guo went on to set a new world record when he became the first Chinese sailor to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation on board his own 40ft yacht, achieved a number of other sailing records, and is widely celebrated as the first professional offshore Skipper in China.

After taking part in one leg of the race in 2011- 12 race, Qingdao-born sailor Vicky Song returned to compete in the full Clipper 2013-14 Race and made history and global media headlines as she was the first Chinese woman to sail around the world. Vicky was celebrated at Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit in 2015 and has since been pursuing a professional sailing career.

Following the success of its investment in sailing, Qingdao invested $6 billion to help continue the development of its overall sports industry, part of which is being invested into strategic policies designed to promote wider sports participation, similar to the Qingdao ambassador programme.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will mark the seventh-time Qingdao has entered a team and featured as a stopover during the Clipper Race. The first real steps in the adventure for the future Qingdao ambassadors will take place in early summer when they visit the UK to complete their four level Clipper Race training programme.