First Time(s) For Everything—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
Year of the Tiger for Team Sanya's Teng - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Every now and then you hear a story about someone newly acquainted with sailing who's taking on a challenge far bolder than anything you've likely attempted yourself. Meet Teng Jiang He, aka 'Tiger'. According to Sophie Luther's report in this issue, Tiger, 37, a former Chinese businessman, took up sailing just last year, but he has been confirmed as the first Chinese sailor (not a media crewmember) to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). Tiger will be joining Mike Sanderson's Chinese-flagged Team Sanya, one of six confirmed entrants in the 2011-2012 race.
'The VOR is incredibly tough going and I was looking for someone with both the skill and the right attitude to contribute towards team performance,' said the legendary Sanderson. 'From day one, Tiger has impressed everyone in the team. He is determined, focused and has an endless hunger to learn everything he can – both on and off the boat.'
'Admittedly, sailing was not my career and I didn't have that much experience compared to the others,' said Tiger, 'but I am very passionate about the sport and keep myself fit so I'm ready for this challenge.'
While Sanderson is a two-time winner of this prestigious ocean race, his team will be using a previous-generation boat (the former Telefonica Blue) and they haven't sailed anywhere near as many miles together as some of the longer-standing programs. Irrespective of how competitive Team Sanya proves to be in this year's VOR, Tiger and the rest of his teammates are in for a wild adventure, especially given their skipper's storied reputation for dropping the hammer offshore. Stay tuned for more, as it becomes known.
Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 La Charente-Maritime /Bahia Transat 6.50
Peeling headsails from fully crewed Volvo Open 70s to 21-foot Classe Minis— while still talking about bold sailing—check out the race preview of six female skippers who will be competing in the 4,200-mile singlehanded Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 (formerly the Mini Transat). American sailing interests are being represented by Emma Creighton and her prototype Classe Mini, Pocket Rocket, (USA 574). 'Doing the Mini Transat is about digging deep and seeing how far you can push yourself and your boat, while still practicing good seamanship,' said Creighton, a first-time Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 competitor. 'I'm excited to get out there and see what I can do against many of the world's best offshore skippers.'
Also inside, get the latest from the Clipper Around The World Race, the ISAF Team Racing Worlds, and the St. Moritz Match Race, the sixth stop on the 2011 World Match Racing Tour.
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