Please select your home edition
Edition
Festival of Sails 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Chinese-funded team racing against world's best sailors

by ChinaOne Ningbo 4 Jul 20:07 PDT
ChinaOne Ningbo, and Hu Bing © Drew Malcolm

Spot the Chinese flag, flying at 30 knots (56 kph) over the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos, Portugal! It’s the first time participation of the fully Chinese-owned sailing team ChinaOne Ningbo in one of the fastest sailing races in the world, the GC32 Racing Tour World Championship, which has thrilled audiences locally and around the globe, and turned the famous actor and fashion icon Hu Bing into a huge fan and supporter for Chinese sailing.

The GC32 is a foiling catamaran with a length of 32 ft (9.75 m). This really is “sailing at the extreme”. Compared to the catamarans used in the last Americas Cup, and relative to the size of the boat, the foils on a GC32 are substantially larger, making the boats more controllable and easier to steer. Nonetheless, the “fast and furious” experience attracts some of the best current and recent America’s Cup sailors to the GC32 circuit, which comprises five events every year.

As the only Asia-flagged team competing in the series, ChinaOne Ningbo finished the final race day on Sunday in very a respectable 8th position. ChinaOne Ningbo sailing team, representing the city of Ningbo, won the M32 World Championships in 2017 and 2018. The team is led by former New Zealand Americas Cup winner CEO Craig Monk, and skippered by Phil Robertson (NZL). In the GC32 World Championships, ChinaOne Ningbo was competing against the best of the best, including recent Americas Cup sailirs from the UK, Switzerland and New Zealand.

At the GC32 Event in Lagos, ChinaOne Ningbo announced the team’s new Global Brand Ambassador, Hu Bing, is a famous Chinese actor and fashion model. Hu Bing was once a was a competitive rower for Team China (ranked 7th in the world), and remains a sports and sailing enthusiast having retired from his own professional sporting career.

In 2007, Hu Bing was in Valencia for AC32 and to help launch “Team China”. The new Brand Ambassador is quite bowled over by the sport of sailing, saying “this is completely different to what I expected. The GC32 World Championship is an enormously challenging and exciting event, and I am thrilled to see a Chinese-flagged sailing team competing in world-class highspeed racing. Being a part of this team has made me feel both honoured and very proud.”

For the GC32 World Championship 2019 in Lagos, ChinaOne Ningbo teamed up with sailors of Team China from SailGP, an international racing circuit recently launched by tech billionaire and passionate sailor Larry Ellison. This is not the first time for them to have a joint crew: the combination is meant to offer more opportunities for Chinese professional sailors. Along with a line-up of Olympians, Volvo Ocean Race champions and some of the sailing world’s most celebrated professionals, ChinaOne Ningbo has been successfully raising the profile of Chinese sailing on the international stage.

Hu Bing said, “This was my first time on a GC32, and I absolutely loved it. It’s an amazing machine. I love to see the team working with so much intensity and precision. Like a performance of ballet dancing.“

Hu Bing was very excited by the “fast and furious” adrenaline rush experience. He added, “China has such an extensive coastline - you see busy trading ports at every turn but few places for sailing. I really hope people will start to learn the joy of sailing and watersports. It’s great that ChinaOne has the support of Ningbo government. I do hope more corporations and brands come forward to support this.”

Philip Sohmen, Co-Chairman of ChinaOne Sailing says, “ChinaOne Ningbo's vision is to create a team that is competitive at the highest levels internationally, to promote sailing in Ningbo and China, develop sailing talent, and put the dynamic port city of Ningbo firmly on the map as an international sailing destination. We are proud to be the only Chinese-flagged team competing in the GC32 Racing Tour.”

Alex Sun, co-founder of ChinaOne Ningbo said, ”We are so thrilled to have Hu Bing as our Global Brand Ambassador. Sailing has a long way to go to becoming a mass-participation sport in China. We hope his involvement will inspire more people to take an interest in sailing.”

About ChinaOne Ningbo

ChinaOne is a professional sailing team bringing together some top international sailors, sponsored by the city of Ningbo, to develop and cultivate Chinese talent and further enhance China’s position on the international stage of world yacht racing.

The vision of ChinaOne Ningbo is: • To compete and succeed in the top levels of international sailing regattas. • To promote water sports development in Ningbo and China through sailing regattas, sailing culture cultivation and exchange. • To enhance corporate brand exposure throughout the world. • Enhance the learning and exchange domestic sailing athletes and international top-level crew. • Actively promote sailing culture and training throughout the Chinese younger generation.

In 2017 and 2018, ChinaOne Ningbo won the M32 World Championship Finals, and was first in total scores in the World Match Racing Tour 2017. In 2018 ChinaOne Ningbo was nominated by China Cup International Regatta as the Best China Sailing Team, along with Clipper Race Sanya Team and Volvo Ocean Race Dongfeng Team.

ChinaOne Ningbo team is skippered by current World Champion Phil Robertson, and the crew brings together top international and Chinese sailors to train and compete together in a spirit of international collaboration.

ChinaOne CEO Craig Monk, two times Americas Cup winner and Olympic medallist for New Zealand, leads skipper Phil Robertson and Chinese Olympic gold medalist Xu Li Jia to cultivate future and current teams. Ningbo and Auckland are sister cities, and the collaborative relationship between the two will surely deliver the next generation of new sailing talent and produce high performing teams on global platforms.

Related Articles

GC32 Riva Cup overall
Alinghi claims GC32 Riva Cup by a whisker While Alinghi has led at the end of every day of racing at the 2019 GC32 Riva Cup, the Swiss team was on the ropes this afternoon when their arch-rivals Oman Air, in seemingly unbeatable form Posted on 15 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 3
Alinghi clings to narrow lead going into the final day Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi started the day four points ahead of Oman Air and - after six races on two different courses, during which they lost the lead, then fought back hard to recover it - ended the day four points ahead of Oman Air. Posted on 15 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 2
Lago di Garda was not making it easy for race officials The afternoon southerly Ora wind was late materialising and required three changes of race course and a frustrating two hour wait before the wind finally blasted in at 15+ knots some four kilometres south of Riva del Garda. Posted on 13 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 1
Early lead for Alinghi Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi team showed some of their GC32 World Championship-winning form when they came out on top after the first of four days of racing at the GC32 Riva Cup, being held out of the Fraglia Vela Riva Posted on 13 Sep
2019 GC32 Riva Cup resumes tomorrow
Seven teams will be on the start line of the GC32 Riva Cup The GC32 Racing Tour resumes tomorrow in what is regarded as the benchmark venue for flying catamaran competition – Riva del Garda at the northern end of Italy's Lake Garda. Posted on 11 Sep
Team Oman Air aims to win GC32 Riva Cup
Heading to Italy aiming for back to back GC32 Racing Tour victories After three closely fought regattas they are tied on points overall with their long-standing Swiss rivals on Alinghi and will be looking for a win at this week's GC32 Riva Cup event on Lake Garda to confirm their advantage. Posted on 10 Sep
Neck and neck going into GC32 Riva Cup
Battle resumes on the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour in a week's time Riva del Garda and its club the Fraglia Vela Riva, is the venue of choice for many top sailing championships because of its famous, usually strong, winds - the morning northerly, the Pelèr and the afternoon southerly, the Ora - combined with flat water. Posted on 5 Sep
Muscat to host 2019 GC32 Racing Tour finale
Oman is to host the deciding event of the series Muscat will extend a warm welcome to the fleet of high-performance foiling catamarans as they race for the Oman Cup over 5-9 November. The teams will be based in and racing on the open waters off Al Mouj Marina in the heart of the city. Posted on 2 Sep
Collinson FX: Aug 7 - NZD weathers the storm
Reality is setting in and the NZD has returned to trade just above 0.6500, while the AUD has settled The RBNZ is expected to cut rates today and offer a dovish bias to monetary policy. The NZ Employment data, released yesterday, was extremely positive and allowed the NZD to weather the international market storm. Posted on 6 Aug
The World Sailing Show: Programme 7
GC32 Worlds sees the fastest flying cats foiling for honours in Lagos The Worlds attracted the best sailing talent from Olympic royalty to America's Cup winners. Sir Ben Ainslie leads INEOS Rebels UK, while Team New Zealand's Glenn Ashby is a late addition to the squad of defending champions Team Tilt. Posted on 6 Aug
Gul 2019 GAMMA FooterFestival of Sails 2020 - FOOTERPandB 2019 Autumn Sale - Footer