Qingdao first sponsored the Clipper Race in 2005, and used the event as a focal point for both building its credentials to host the Beijing 2008 Olympic sailing events and creating a powerful legacy as China and Asia’s leading location for international sailing events. There was also the aim to develop Qingdao as a powerful maritime city with a strong ‘blue’ marine economy, and create a leisure sport cluster along the route of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Over the last twelve years,the Clipper Race has brought thousands of crew, visitors, VIPs, and business partners to Qingdao and China to boost tourism, representing Qingdao’s winter season travel offer, and develop trade, with tangible deals and visitor generated economic impact.

The unique business and government network associated with the Clipper Race has also developed Qingdao’s international relations and improved its global profile as a top Chinese port city and resort.

The Qingdao branded yacht has represented the city and China on the race route around the world, and has been used as a platform for a comprehensive promotion of China’s ‘Sailing City’ in major ports of call such as London, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Sydney, Seattle, and New York.
In addition, the Clipper Race has developed sailing skills, with 16 Chinese crew representing Qingdao selected to take part in each race to build ocean racing experience. The first Chinese sailor to join the Clipper Race on board the Qingdao yacht in the 2005-06 edition was Guo Chuan, who went on to become the first Chinese person to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 2013 aboard a 40-foot yacht. In the Clipper 2013-14 Race, Qingdao Ambassador Vicky Song became the first Chinese woman to sail around the world.

“The Qingdao yacht and her Chinese crew publicised the ‘Sailing City’ of Qingdao and traditional Chinese culture in all the host ports globally," explains Mr. Ji Gaoshang, Director General of Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Sports, Secretary General of Qingdao Major Sailing Events (Festivals) Organizing Committee.

"This has strengthened the sport and culture exchanges, and friendships between Qingdao and the cities, regions and countries along the Clipper Race route. In the future, we hope more people will join in the race to realise their sailing dreams, and be Qingdao Ambassadors to make Qingdao known to the world.”

Qingdao has sponsored the Qingdao yacht entry for six consecutive Clipper Races, which has helped many Chinese sailing enthusiasts realise their ocean sailing dreams, and cultivated many ocean sailing talents