As China experiences rapid growth of its sailing industry, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has revealed that the ‘Islands and Sailing’ city of Zhuhai, China, is to become a Host Port and Team Partner following a multi-million pound three edition deal.
The debut partnership was made official at a signing ceremony in Liverpool, UK, and will see Zhuhai, along with Jiuzhou Holdings, collaborate with race organisers Clipper Ventures, on the 2019-20, 2023-24 and 2025-26 editions of the global event.
The contract was signed by Mr Li Hongbin, Vice General Manager of Zhuhai Jiuzhou Holdings, and Clipper Race CEO William Ward OBE, with the pair joined by Mr. Hu Tao, Brand Director of Zhuhai Jiuzhou Holdings Group Ltd, Clipper Race Chairman and legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and other race and city officials.
Speaking after the ceremony, William Ward OBE explained: “I’ve visited Zhuhai a number of times over the past few months and have been very impressed for a variety of reasons. Located close to Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao, Zhuhai is a place with strong geographic advantages, beautiful islands and coastline, excellent wind conditions for sailing, convenient transportation, and a comfortable climate, which are all crucial for water sports and tourism development.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. At 40,000 nautical miles long and taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.
Zhuhai Jiuzho Holdings already has extensive experience in hosting major sailing events, including the 2016 and 2017 China National Sailing Regatta, as well as its own ‘Jiuzho Cup’. Utilising its new Clipper Race platform, Zhuhai Jiuzhou Holdings aims to enhance its sailing development and promote its renowned ‘Islands and Sailing’ image to the rest of the world.
Zhuhai also has one of the largest yacht-build bases in China, and this new partnership will bring further development opportunities for the city’s boat building industry.
Explaining why Zhuhai Jiuzhou Holdings chose to partner with the Clipper Race, Mr. Hu Tao, Brand Director of Zhuhai Jiuzhou Holdings Group Ltd, said: “The Clipper Race’s inclusive and human spirited approach to life and adventure perfectly matches with Zhuhai’s green environment strategy.