Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fifth time Team Sponsor, Qingdao, officially named their yacht this morning, part of the new state of the art fleet of ocean racers debuting in the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Race which gets underway tomorrow from St Katharine Docks, London.
Leading the naming ceremony was the founder of the Clipper Race, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and Guo Chuan (GC), the first Chinese sailor to take part in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 2005-06 edition of the race aboard the first Qingdao entry.
Sir Robin said, 'It’s a great honour to be here today at St Katharine Docks to take part in the official naming ceremony the yacht, Qingdao. This is the fifth time the city has had an entry in the Clipper Race, and I wish their representatives, partners and crew the very best of luck for the race.
'I think one of the things that has given us the greatest pleasure about Qingdao is the way the people accept the Clipper Race crews into their homes. It is a wonderful cultural exchange and a wonderful sign of the friendship that you show us and which we appreciate enormously.'
Guo Chuan, 48, from Qingdao made history in April this year after completing a 21,600 mile solo non-stop circumnavigation in a class 40 boat named ‘Qingdao’, in just 137 days. On completing his challenging venture Guo Chuan became the first Chinese sailor to complete a solo no-stop circumnavigation. He said today, 'There are already 22 sailors from China who have participated in the previous Clipper Race and there will be another nine this year. I hope some of them will turn into professional and race for life as a career just like I do.'
In January 2012 Qingdao signed a contract to sponsor two more editions of the Clipper Race to build on its legacy as the sailing venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and to continue to strengthen its brand as China’s sailing city. Having joined forces with the Clipper Race in 2005, Qingdao is the longest serving sponsor.
Skipper of Qingdao Gareth Glover, and his crew are preparing for the start of the Clipper 13-14 Race which, at 40,000 miles, is the world’s longest ocean race. The Race will start from St Katharine Docks, Sunday 1 September (tomorrow).
Qingdao will host the Clipper Race stopover in China in March 2014 when the 12-stong fleet of 70 ft stripped down ocean racing yachts and their crews will visit the Chinese sailing capital for a week-long celebration.
For further information about the Clipper Race visit https Clipper Round the World
by Ruth Harrington
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3:39 PM Sat 31 Aug 2013GMT
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