Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series is set to take place in the sprawling metropolis of Qingdao from 2-5 May and the Chinese challenger for the America’s Cup World Series, China Team, is heading to the city as the invitational home team. China Team will compete against the seven established Series teams on their home waters at China’s Olympic ‘Sailing City’.
China Team is ahead of HS Racing going into the windward gate and places 8th in the second race but is still tied for last with HS Racing at the ACWS in Naples Italy on April 18, 2013.
China Team competed in the 2012 Qingdao Act and this year return with an almost entirely new line-up, including four Chinese sailors, all fresh from competing at the America’s Cup World Series in Naples, Italy. Yingkit Cheng (mainsail trimmer), one of China’s top 49er sailors, is the only team member to return to the Extreme 40 fleet after debuting with China Team in 2012 and has since had the chance to fine-tune his multihull skills with the team’s AC45.
Cheng commented: 'I’m so excited to return to this exciting class and sail in my home country with such a strong fleet this year. For me, it is a wonderful opportunity to reunite with my sailing friends from all over the world and compete, and hopefully win some races, against them.'
Some of China’s most talented and elite sailors, and regular China Team crew, Yiran Zhang (bowman) Xue Liu (headsail trimmer) and Zijin Wen (co-skipper/tactician) will be making their Extreme 40 debut as part of China Team’s ongoing endeavor to raise the profile of yachting in China and develop their national talent. The increase in the number of Chinese sailors competing as regular crew members with China Team is a clear indication of the successes achieved so far.
China Team is led by skipper and helmsman Mitch Booth, co-creator of the Extreme 40 boat, who is in possession of an enviable CV including two Olympic medals (bronze in Barcelona, 1992 and silver in Atlanta, 1996), an impressive 11 World Championships titles, as well as America’s Cup and previous Extreme 40 experience as skipper of The Ocean Racing Club in 2010. The Aussie legend admits it’s will be a challenge coming back to the fleet after a three-year hiatus: 'I’m really looking forward to returning to the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao. This class is obviously close to my heart. It is always tough coming into a fleet that has already got a few events under their belts but together with China Team, we are excited to compete in the team’s home nation.'
The invitational team concept, which at Act 1 was Team Duqm Oman and Act 2 Team Aberdeen Singapore (both helmed by Britain’s Robert Greenhalgh), provides a platform for home nation teams and local sailing talent to compete on home waters, and so far this year has been a huge success, most recently providing Singapore’s aspiring Olympic sailor Scott Glen Sydney the opportunity to skipper his local boat.
The full crew lists for Act 3, Qingdao and live streaming times will be confirmed by Thursday 25th April.
China Team Crew List
Position / Crew member / Nationality
Skipper and Helmsman- Mitch Booth (AUS)
Co-skipper and Tactician – Wen Ziji (CHN)
Mainsail Trimmer – Yingkit Cheng (CHN)
Headsail Trimmer- Liu Xue (CHN)
Bowman – Zhang Yiran (CHN)
Extreme Sailing Series