On Friday (yesterday) Guo Chuan became the first Chinese sailor to make a solo non-stop circumnavigation. 138 days from Qingdao to Qingdao, arriving in proper style with flares held high as he passed the breakwater of the Olympic Marina. Guo previously participated in the 2006 edition of the Clipper Race, and was Media Crew Member on board Green Dragon in the 2008 VOR. So that makes three very different circumnavigations!
So congratulations, Guo Chuan. Your very real achievement makes a pleasant change from the over-cooked press releases that come out the world of Chinese sailing ‘events' where everything is biggest and best in the world – or not, as the case may be.
Guo had his fair share of bad weather, equipment problems and fishing nets with which to contend, and gave a special mention to onboard cuisine - “I am the happiest man in the world. I don't have to eat that awful dehydrofrozen food any more!”
The OK Dinghy Worlds have just taken place at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, with Roger Blasse taking the title after nine races over a week, and discarding a 5th place to hold a score sheet that had him on the podium every time. By all accounts, the sailors very much enjoyed the venue – if you're sailing a dinghy, and you're going to get wet, heck, I'd take the Gulf of Thailand in preference to a European winter every time! Exposing more and more sailors to warm water Asian sailing can only be a good thing – they come, they see (and sail), and they return. Hong Kong will be hosting the Flying 15 Worlds in October this year - it's all good exposure for the Asian sailing scene. The venues and the facilities exist, it's just a matter of attracting the events.
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