Tuesday, 29 March 2011
China Team announces its challenge for the 34th America's Cup in Beijing. (Bruno Trouble, Louis Vuitton; Grace Zhang, Louis Vuitton; Li Quanhai, Chinese Water Sports Bureau; Wang Chao Yong, China Team; Xiao Tian, China Yachting Association; Richard Worth, America's Cup Event Authority; Noëlle Smulders, Thierry Barot, China Team. Supplied image.
by Stephanie Martin
Team to Feature Mainly Chinese Sailors, on a China-Built Boat
For the second time in America’s Cup history, China has entered a team to challenge for the oldest sporting trophy in the world, and bring it to China.
China Team, with the full support of the Chinese Government, is the 8th challenger for the 34th America’s Cup, joining the best sailors in the world to compete in the Challengers Series Louis Vuitton Cup, to reach the America’s Cup final, in San Francisco during the summer of 2013.
Mr. Wang Chao Yong, chairman of China Team, is delighted to lead the challenge for the second time and believes that he has put in place a team of experts who will lead China Team to greatness.
“All boats need to be designed by the team, and built in country. We have been working with some of the best worldwide designers for hull and wings for a few months already, in partnership with top Chinese Universities. This is an opportunity to showcase China’s talents in the leading-edge hi-tech areas of both hydrodynamics and aeronautics. Our boat will then be built in China, and ready to sail by February 2012,” said Mr. Wang.
The 34th America’s Cup has taken a big step into the future, with teams sailing the AC72, a very hi-tech, wing-sailed multihull. These catamarans are the equivalent of the Formula One cars for the seas.
“This America’s Cup will feature the best sailors on the fastest boats, so we’re very happy to be part of this adventure with China Team, a boat which will truly represent China, as most sailors will be Chinese”, Mr. Wang added.
China Team chairmain Wang Chao Yong speaking at a press conference in Beijing announcing China's entry into the 34th America's Cup. Supplied image.
Thierry Barot, CEO of China Team has been busy recruiting the worldwide and Olympic champion sailors who will be responsible for training the sailing team. “Our boat will be powered mainly by Chinese sailors, and we are very fortunate to have an elite team of international sailors to come to China and train our Chinese team”.
Another new addition to this cup is the America’s Cup World Series, a circuit of races around the world which will provide sailors with more opportunities to compete with one another, and also build excitement for each home team over the next 2 years.
“We are very pleased to welcome our eighth challenger, China Team, to the 34th America’s Cup,” said Richard Worth, Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “China Team makes a wonderful addition, bringing another continent of athletes into our international field of strong competitors, as well as a very powerful market to add to the commercial strength of the 34th America's Cup.”
Louis Vuitton, America’s Cup long standing main partner, is delighted to welcome a strong Chinese team “China Team” led once again by their friend Wang Chao Yong who will fly the Chinese colors on the seas.
In 1421, sixty years before Columbus, China hit the high seas with a vast armada of impressive sailing ships. These seamen were the ancestors of the young 21st-century sailors we see in China today.
“China has a 600-year-old tradition of sailing!” said Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, speaking of the new Chinese team entering the America’s Cup. “They will have to win the Louis Vuitton Cup and beat all the challengers before getting a chance to compete against the American Defender, Oracle Racing. Just the kind of challenge the Chinese relish!”