Saturday, 20 April 2013

Extreme Sailing Series : Chinese Sailors to make Extreme 40 debut in Act 3, Qingdao

China Team will take part in the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao. Image copyright Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series

by Extreme Sailing Series media

The Chinese challenger for the America’s Cup World Series, China Team, is heading to the sprawling metropolis of Qingdao as the invitational home team at Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ global tour from the 2nd-5th May 2013. The team will compete against the seven established Series teams on their home waters at China’s Olympic ‘Sailing City’.

China Team competed in the 2012 Qingdao Act and this year return with an almost entirely new line-up, including four Chinese sailors, all fresh from competing at the America’s Cup World Series in Naples, Italy. Yingkit Cheng (mainsail trimmer), one of China’s top 49er sailors, is the only team member to return to the Extreme 40 fleet after debuting with China Team in 2012 and has since had the chance to fine-tune his multihull skills with the team’s AC45. Cheng commented: “I'm so excited to return to this exciting class and sail in my home country with such a strong fleet this year. For me, it is a wonderful opportunity to reunite with my sailing friends from all over the world and compete, and hopefully win some races, against them.” Some of China’s most talented and elite sailors, and regular China Team crew, Yiran Zhang (bowman) Xue Liu (headsail trimmer) and Zijin Wen (co-skipper/tactician) will be making their Extreme 40 debut as part of China Team's ongoing endeavor to raise the profile of yachting in China and develop their national talent. The increase in the number of Chinese sailors competing as regular crew members with China Team is a clear indication of the successes achieved so far.

China Team is led by skipper and helmsman Mitch Booth, co-creator of the Extreme 40 boat, who is in possession of an enviable CV including two Olympic medals (bronze in Barcelona, 1992 and silver in Atlanta, 1996), an impressive 11 World Championships titles, as well as America’s Cup and previous Extreme 40 experience as skipper of The Ocean Racing Club in 2010. The Aussie legend admits its will be a challenge coming back to the fleet after a three-year hiatus: “I’m really looking forward to returning to the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao. This class is obviously close to my heart. It is always tough coming into a fleet that has already got a few events under their belts but together with China Team, we are excited to compete in the team’s home nation.”

The invitational team concept, which at Act 1 was Team Duqm Oman and Act 2 Team Aberdeen Singapore (both helmed by Britain’s Robert Greenhalgh), provides a platform for home nation teams and local sailing talent to compete on home waters, and so far this year has been a huge success, most recently providing Singapore’s aspiring Olympic sailor Scott Glen Sydney the opportunity to skipper his local boat. Watch an interview with Sydney as he discusses the opportunity here. The full crew lists for Act 3, Qingdao and live streaming times will be confirmed by Thursday 25th April.

China Team Crew List
Position / Crew member / Nationality
Skipper & Helmsman- Mitch Booth (AUS)
Co-skipper & Tactician – Wen Ziji (CHN)
Mainsail Trimmer - Yingkit Cheng (CHN)
Headsail Trimmer- Liu Xue (CHN)
Bowman -  Zhang Yiran (CHN)

Extreme Sailing Series