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Hubris at China Cup International Regatta

by China Boating Intelligence (CBI) on 12 Oct
China Cup in august company - America's Cup (left) and the World Match Racing Tour trophy (right). China Boating Intelligence (CBI)
Some years ago the China Cup International Regatta claimed to be “bigger than the America’s Cup,” on the basis that the event attracted more boats. They were, and probably still are, a regatta organiser with precious little understanding of the bigger picture of the sport of sailing.

Now they are at it again. Here’s a slide from a CCIR presentation showing pictures of the America’s Cup alongside the China Cup and the World Match Racing Trophy (WMRT). To put yourself in that sort of company requires either a lot of nerve, a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the other two events, or an over-inflated sense of your own self-importance. Probably all three.

True, China Cup seem to have been able to reduce the WMRT Finals from a stand alone event to effectively just a class in their larger regatta, but to compare themselves to the America’s Cup shows a sense of importance that just doesn’t exist. “Hubris: excessive pride or self-confidence.”

The America’s Cup is 166 years old with owners spending billions of Yuan on their teams, and is played out by the best of the best in sailing world. China Cup is in its 11th year, with almost half the racing fleet chartered instead of owned, no Grand Prix division, and the top prize going to the winner of a division of cruising boats. And as for the ‘best of the best’? Well, you can draw your own conclusions.

China Cup’s claims on their website to be the “first-ever and only big boat sailing regatta initiated by Chinese” are tenuous at best. It depends on what you call a ‘big boat’ - but in China that generally means a keelboat rather than a dinghy. There are keelboat regattas virtually every weekend somewhere in China. These regattas include races across the sea to Korea, and there is at least one event that pre-dates the CCIR. There are even rallies across the Strait to Taiwan.

It should be noted that these regattas do not have their entry numbers padded by over half the teams arriving from outside China. CCIR is a once-a-year one-off event, not a regular year-round contributor to the growth and development of sailing in China, and does very little to help improve the quality of competition in China. Most of the other regattas are all-Chinese affairs (or so near as makes no difference), don’t have a gratuitous “International” stuffed into their name, and are doing more in practical terms to stimulate sailing in China.

China Cup’s claim to have “powered the development of sailing in China” is deeply flawed. They may have helped in some small way, but for many years it was the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club that provided all the race management, so perhaps it is RHKYC who should be taking whatever credit there may be. China Cup is very good at puffing themselves up, and conveniently omitting the fact that whatever success they may have achieved was achieved through the efforts and on the back of others. The event and its management are, in fact, parasites. Quick to preen themselves, but slow to recognise the essential efforts of others and give credit where credit is due.

China Cup International Regatta says what they want to say, whether it is true or not. We hear that they are about to announce an IPO (really!), so now it is even more important to tell everyone how marvellous they are. Right up there with the America's Cup, for example. Yeah, right.

Naiad/Oracle SupplierRS Sailing 660x82 AUSX-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 3

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