West Coast New Area

Sailing capital Qingdao shares experiences at Beijing sports summit

( ) | 2018-03-29

The eastern coastal city of Qingdao – now firmly established as China's Sailing Capital – was invited to present a case study on its outstanding cooperation with Clipper Ventures, the UK based organizer of the famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, at a prestigious international sports summit in Beijing on March 27.

"Our participation in the Clipper Race, including the race's regular visits to Qingdao since the 2005-6 series, has formed a firm foundation for building an annual program of international sailing events and raised the profile of Qingdao as 'China's Sailing City' around the world. The city also enjoys a comprehensive legacy from hosting the sailing competitions in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games," said Zhang Min, deputy director of the Qingdao Administration Centre of Sailing Sports, at the iSportconnect Sports Summit (ISC).   

In the case study outlining how Qingdao achieved its goal to become China's leading sailing city, participants at the summit learned that Clipper Race, which was the first round-the-world yachting competition introduced to China, has helped to select and train numerous Qingdao "ambassador" crew members, including the sailing icons Guo Chuan, the first Chinese man to sail non-stop around the world, and Vicky Song, the first Chinese woman to circumnavigate the globe.

In addition to promoting the sailing sports, Qingdao has leveraged the Clipper Race to promote strengthened economic, educational and cultural exchanges worldwide.

There has also been a tangible effect on the blue marine economy. One of the highlights was that this year's 11 Clipper yachts were all manufactured by a Qingdao shipyard.

The marine industry in Qingdao is also growing rapidly. According to the Qingdao municipal bureau of statistics, the output of Qingdao's marine industry reached $45 billion in 2017, accounting for 25 percent of the city's whole GDP.   

"We are very pleased to have played a significant role in helping Qingdao achieve its ambitions and we will continue to be an important partner of their future strategy," said Jonathan Levy, director of Clipper Ventures."Based on our effective cooperation with Qingdao, we are expanding involvement with China. We just announced that we will develop three ocean racing training centers in the country to support the China Yachting Association and to help advance the development of the country's sailing sports," added Levy.