Qingdao's Partnership With the Clipper Race for the 7th Consecutive Year Cements the City's Reputation as the City of Sailing

Publish Time:2018-04-11 09:46:08Source:https://www.prnewswire.com

【Introduction】: "Colorful smoke was released as we were entering the harbor, while seeing so many people from our team s hometown come to the dock to welcome and cheer for us, that was really exciting, " Chris Kobusch, the skipper of the yacht that had been christened Qingdao, said on the 27th of March, without any attempt to hide the emotions he was feeling.

(Source: PR Newswire)

"Colorful smoke was released as we were entering the harbor, while seeing so many people from our team's 'hometown' come to the dock to welcome and cheer for us, that was really exciting," Chris Kobusch, the skipper of the yacht that had been christened Qingdao, said on the 27th of March, without any attempt to hide the emotions he was feeling. He continued, "Actually, before the race started, I had very much been waiting for a chance to return to Qingdao. The team was warmly received by the large and enthusiastic 'home welcoming committee' waiting on the dock once we reached Qingdao, and we felt the passion that the people of Qingdao felt for the sport."

Qingdao’s partnership with the Clipper Race for the 7th consecutive year cements the city’s reputation as the City of Sailing

As the only two teams led by women skippers, Seattle and Sanya Xinqishijie Banshanbandao won the No. 1 and No. 2 slots in the eighth leg of the Clipper Race. Nick Henderson, the captain of yacht Seattle, is a competitive sailor with rich experience and now is the chief lecturer and director of the Australian office of the Clipper Race. This is her second clipper journey. Talking about the secret behind Seattle being among the top three winning vessels for the second time, Nick said the success totally relied on hard work and effort, and that there are no other shortcuts.

Although it's the seventh time that Qingdao has acted as partner and been the host city for the Clipper Race, it is the first time that Clipper yachts have been able to berth at a location along the city's beautiful west coast. The organizing committee of the Qingdao leg had arranged a Sailors Visit Qingdao special event to showcase the rich culture and prosperity of the city, giving many sailors who were visiting China for the first time an opportunity to learn about some of the unique aspects of Chinese culture.

On the 18th of March, Clipper Race sailor representatives arrived at the traditional Chinese courtyard in Tangdao Bay Park located within Qingdao West Coast New Area where they were given an opportunity to experience an excellent example of Chinese architecture culture. The same afternoon, sailors from the Qingdao yacht team went to one of the city's Rich Bakery locations where they joined in a special do-it-yourself tangyuan-making activity. Tangyuan is made of glutinous rice, with fillings of sugary paste such as sesame, red bean and peanuts, and is served in celebration of any momentous occasion. The specialized skills involved in the hand-making process awed the visiting sailors.

A sailor who went by the name of Simon said: "I was last in China 12 years ago, and now this competition has brought me here, to Qingdao, again. Through today's visit, I witnessed the city's rapid growth and modern feeling, and I am overwhelmed by how fast the change in the city has taken place. We will most definitely return to Qingdao, either as visitors and to engage in some business."

The founder of the Clipping Race, Sir Robin Knox Johnston, said, as the first Asian city to host the event, Qingdao has partnered with the race 7 times over the last 14 years and has become the event's most important partner. Qingdao has been the entrant with the largest yacht in the event seven times. He further explained, since the Clipper Race and Qingdao started working together, the Clipper team has taught the world's cutting-edge sailing techniques and technologies to Qingdao's sailors, producing a group of excellent sailors that have consistently stood out. Song Kun, the first woman sailor to join the global sailing event, is one of them.

As the world's largest amateur sailing competition worldwide, the Clipper Race held a strong attraction for the 48 sailors from Qingdao who chose to join the event and to cooperate closely with the city in further expanding the local fan base of sailing enthusiasts.

The cooperation between Qingdao and the Clipper Race boosted the establishment of Qingdao as the City of Sailing, and help the growth in the number of sailors who call Qingdao home, said Zang Aimin, the deputy director of Qingdao's organizing committee for international sailing events.

Bringing the well-known sailing event to Qingdao was a necessary step in helping to establish the city as a center for the sport. Yet, an even more important factor was the launching of several of the city's own events, among them, the Far East Cup International Sailing Rally and the CCOR World City Sailing Regatta. They served to enhance the city's image while advancing the overall development of sailing competitions in Qingdao.

Ji Gaoshang, the director of Qingdao's municipal sports bureau, said, the series of well-known sailing events, with the Clipper Race serving as the lead example, has had great significance in developing a recreational area for water-based sports in Qingdao, and one which can serve as a bulkhead for the ongoing buildout of the Maritime Silk Road, of which the city is a key proponent. Such a sports area will go a long way in enhancing the interconnection between Qingdaoand the countries and regions bordering the Silk Road.

Qingdao is now the Asian city that hosts the most international sailing events. The presence of the white sails on the waters surrounding Qingdao is helping to publicize the city and its many charms to every corner of the globe.

As the birthplace of many of China's sailing sports and the host city for the sailing events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Qingdao has fully leveraged the heritage of the Games to position the city as the premier choice for every form of high-end international sailing event.

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