Volvo Ocean Race - Selection trials begin for Team Dongfeng

Candidates at the Dongfeng Race Team selection trials are briefed before the activities begin.
Selection trials to find the Chinese crew members for Dongfeng Race Team, for the Volvo Ocean Race, commenced today in Sanya at Serenity Marina, the team’s Official Training Facility.

Serenity Marina is situated on the south peninsula of the city and was home to the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in 2011-12 and will be again for the 2014-15 edition during the Sanya stopover. For the next few months it will for the base for Dongfeng Race Team as the Official Training Facility, hosting not only the selection trials process but will also house the full team once the training programme begins from February onwards. 'It is with great pride and excitement that we welcome Dongfeng Race Team to our Marina. We have no doubt that Dongfeng Race Team will find here the very best sailing environment and training facilities China has to offer and will discover in Sanya, a true home base of loyal supporters and fans,' explains Xavier Maurey, General Manager of Serenity Marina.

photo2 - Mexorc Copa Corum - Day 1

Dongfeng Race Team’s search for Chinese crew members is officially underway. The first selection trials kick-started this morning at 8:00am local time in Sanya, China. The selection trials will be led by the OC Sport team who manage the selection process for the UK-based Artemis Offshore and Team Director, Bruno Dubois. 'We have 20 great Chinese candidates here at Serenity Marina, even if they are feeling a bit apprehensive about what lies ahead,' explains Bruno Dubois. The Chinese athletes who have been selected for these first trials are purposely kept in the dark about what will take place over the next 36 hours so that the selection panel can judge at first-hand how they cope under pressure, suffering from the effects of extreme fatigue and in stressful situations.

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan, although not participating in the trials, will be part of the selection team. Guo was the first Chinese sailor to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race as the media crew member on Green Dragon from 2008 to 2009, he also took part in the Clipper Round the World in 2006 and fully appreciates what lies ahead for these sailors. In 2011 Guo became the first Chinese sailor to participate in the Mini Transat and more recently became the first sailor from China to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe.

photo4 - Mexorc Copa Corum - Day 1

It can also be confirmed that Teng Jianghe, trimmer on-board Team Sanya in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be participating in the selection trials with the hope of becoming a Dongfeng Race Team member. Alongside Teng Jianghe other notable candidates include Ying Kit Cheng from Kowloon. Kit has impressive dinghy experience in 420, 29er and 49er classes and was a crew member of the America’s Cup World Series China Team. 'I would like to be one of the top-level sailors in my country and share my knowledge to all the people who love sailing,' said Kit. Also putting their ACWS and Extreme 40 experience to good use is Xue Liu from ShanDong; as is Yiran Zhang from Qingdao and representing Sanya, Zijin Wen who also has an impressive 470 CV.

Jin Hao Chen from Hong Kong is bringing all his windsurfing, Laser, Finn and sail making experience to the trials in the hope he can impress the judges and make the big step into the world of professional offshore sailing: 'I hope I will have this great opportunity to join the Dongfeng Race Team to take part in the next Volvo Ocean Race as a Chinese Sailor' said Jin Hao. 'Not only because I hope to learn more sailing techniques, but to enrich my sailing experience by sailing with the best sailors from around the world. I also have the great pursuit of challenging myself to the limit.'

Ex-Olympic sailor Shen Sheng will also be participating in the selection trials with the hope of joining Dongfeng Race Team. Shen competed with Team China in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has since competed in the Hainan Island Sailing Regatta and the China Cup International Regatta.

Not only will the candidates come under scrutiny by the judging panel but also the media, including China’s national dedicated sports channel CCTV who are on site to make a special news report.

Sanya race village opening ceremony for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.

Sanya Marina provides a prestigious yacht club, cafes, restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, swimming pools, a sailing school, and a 48m high capitainerie tower housing the marina services. The marina also offers 325 full-service berths from 10 to 40m (LOA), a repair and maintenance workshop operating a 100 ton travel lift.

Volvo Ocean Race