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German skipper to lead China's sailing city in Clipper Yacht Race

by Julia Fry / Clipper Ventures on 9 May 2017
Qingdao skipper Chris Kobusch - Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race Clipper Ventures
Experienced yachtsman Chris Kobusch, 32, from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, has today been named as the Skipper of the Qingdao yacht for the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race campaign, which will start from Liverpool, UK, on Sunday August 20.

Chris Kobusch said: “I'm absolutely delighted to be named as the Qingdao Skipper for the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

“The stunning red Qingdao boat with the golden dragon was and is one of my favourite designs of the Clipper Race fleet. Symbolising passion, courage, bravery and persistence in the Chinese culture, these are all values the Clipper Race Crew will need for their adventure ahead.

“To represent the event’s longest standing Host Port and Team Partner in its seventh consecutive edition of the event is a real honour and I look forward to leading the Qingdao team around the world.

Earlier this year, Qingdao re-signed as a Host Port and Team Partner until the end of 2020, extending its partnership with the Clipper Race to 16 years.

On behalf of the City of Qingdao, the Qingdao Major International Sailing Events (Festivals) Organising Committee Office said 'We hope that, as the ambassador of promoting Sailing City of China - Qingdao world-wide, Skipper Chris Kobusch will bring his rich sailing experience and advantage into play in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, and skipper the Qingdao Yacht to achieve greatness and further success!'

Known as China’s Sailing City, Qingdao first sponsored the Clipper Race in 2005 and used the event as a focal point for building its credentials to host the sailing events for the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, and developing itself as a powerful maritime city with a strong ‘blue’ marine economy.

Over the past twelve years and six editions of the Clipper Race, thousands of crew, visitors, VIPs, and business partners have come to Qingdao, boosting tourism and developing trade. The unique business and government network associated with the race has also developed Qingdao’s international relations and improved its global profile as a top Chinese port city and resort.

“Maintaining Qingdao's global profile as a top Chinese port city and resort to support tourism and trade will be a big responsibility for me during the race, but one I’m very much looking forward to,” adds Chris.

“I believe the best way to represent Qingdao is to mount a safe, professional and competitive campaign, and to promote good seamanship. I think all these are values shared by our Team Partner Qingdao as the leading city of sailing, not only in China, but in the whole of Asia.”

Chris started sailing when he left school and moved to Cape Town, South Africa. After completing his RYA Yachtmaster Offshore in 2009, Chris has lived and worked professionally on yachts all over the world, including China, and has logged more than 70,000 nautical miles during his past ten years on the water.

Qingdao Ambassador crew will be on board their namesake yacht for each of the race’s eight legs to further represent the city and China on the 40,000 nautical mile race around the world. The 16 Ambassadors were selected after a tough application process and trial in Qingdao in January, 2017, and will shortly begin their training in Gosport, UK.

Chris continues: “These six women and eight men went through a tough selection process and will be highly motivated and competitive. I am looking forward to welcoming the Qingdao Ambassadors on board and together we will represent Qingdao as China's Sailing City in major ports all around the world!”

The rest of the Qingdao team will be announced at the upcoming Crew Allocation Day, at Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday 20 May.
The Clipper 2017-18 Race, the only event of its kind for non-professional sailors, will visit six continents and include six ocean crossings. Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its eight legs, in one of the toughest endurance challenges. It is without doubt the world’s greatest ocean adventure.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will depart from Liverpool, UK, on August 20, 2017, and arrive in Qingdao in early 2018, with its global route including stopovers in South America (port TBC), Cape Town, Western Australia (port TBC), Sydney, Hobart, East Coast Australia (port TBC) Sanya, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry-Londonderry, before returning to Liverpool’s Albert Docks in Summer 2018.

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