by Lucy Harwood
Green Dragon unveils her new colours
Friday in Alicante, the Green Dragon team unveiled their new liveryand Chinese sponsors. The Chinese syndicate is made up of three companies; Shandong Lingong, Weichai Power and Triangle Group who are all part of a consortium of Chinese industrial companies based in Shandong Province, China.
Shandong is located on the east coast of China, with total area of 157,000 square meters and a population of 92.48 million. Today, Shandong’s gross domestic product (GDP) holds the leading economic position in China.
'Being involved in an international market is a strategy that SDLG is keen to implement. The Volvo Ocean Race, is one of the most influential sailing events in the world. Our involvement with the Green Dragon team ensures us a platform to communicate the SDLG brand with a global audience,' Mr. Wang Zhizhong, CEO and President of Shandong Lingong Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.
The imagery on the boat reflects the heritage of the Green Dragon project. The green portrays the projects’ origination in Ireland. With the Dragon reflecting the Chinese title sponsorship. One of the partner sponsors on Green Dragon is discoverireland.com (The Irish Tourist Board) and the shamrock indicates their objective to promote Ireland as a maritime tourism destination through participation in the Volvo Ocean Race.
For the first time in the 35 year history of the race, China will not only host a three-week stopover in the Olympic sailing venue, Qingdao, but now has the first Chinese sponsorship of a Volvo Ocean Race entry. The team already holds strong Chinese links with construction of the boat in China. The boat was built by a team of 90 Chinese boat builders at McConaghy Boats in Zhuhai, (Southern China) and this is the first Volvo Open 70 boat to be built in the country.
Ireland will also host its first Volvo Ocean Race stopover from 23 May to 06 June 2009. Galway will be ready and waiting with a true Irish welcome to the Volvo Ocean Race and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who are expected to visit Galway.
Also announced were four Chinese squad members who will be involved in the Green Dragon team both onboard and onshore. Sailing onboard Green Dragon for the duration of the race in the role of Media Crew Member will be Guo Chuan (44). Guo originally from Qingdao, started sailing in 1996 and was the first Chinese participant in the Mini Class. He has 16,000 nautical miles under his belt so far, and this will be his first round the world race. Guo also sailed onboard the Qingdao boat during the Clipper Round the World Race in 2007. For the Volvo Ocean Race he successfully passed the strict pre-race sailing team trials making him the first Chinese sailor to compete in this race.
Guo will join the existing Green Dragon sailing squad, which includes three crew who competed in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race; Damian Foxall (ERICSSON), Justin Slattery (ABN AMRO ONE), and Tom Braidwood (ERICSSON).
Green Dragon Racing Team Crew
1) Ian Walker (GBR) Skipper
2) Ian Moore (IRL) Navigator
3) Damian Foxall (IRL) Watch Leader
4) Justin Slattery (IRL) Bowman
5) Neal McDonald (GBR) Watch Leader
6) Guo Chaun (CHN) Media Crew Member
7) Tom Braidwood (AUS) Driver/Trimmer
8) Andrew Mclean (NZ) Bowman
9) Phil Harmer (AUS) Driver/Trimmer/ Sailmaker
10) Freddie Shanks (GBR) Bowman
Also joining Green Dragon as part of the shore team are Huang Jian (37), Jiang Yongtao (34) and Ms Wang Delu (26).
Huang Jian has worked as chief cinematographer for Fujian SETV, and as an independent producer for the documentary studio of SETV. His main focus is on wild animals, natural environments and outdoor sports. He specialises in offshore sports, and started sailing in 2002. Huang also joined the Green Dragon team for their punishing 2000-mile qualification sail.
Jiang Yongtao is a photographer and a copywriter with a passion for extreme sports. As a professional photographer, he has worked on various projects from snow-covered mountains to desert landscapes.
Ms Wang Delu will join Green Dragon working on press & media relations’ management. During the Volvo Ocean Race, she will act as the interpreter and Chinese/Asian PR coordinator for the Green Dragon team.
Green Dragon logo