15 January 2017: Sanya, the energetic fast-developing holiday resort and sailing centre on Hainan Island in the south of China, has been signed up as a first-time Team Partner and Host Port for the next two editions of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, through to 2020.
The Clipper Race was founded by one of the world's greatest sailing legends - yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the Briton who became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1969, and is the only race of its kind which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers.
Sir Robin signed the agreement with Sanya today (Wednesday 15 February 2017) in a press conference and ceremony hosted by the Mayor of the city at the award-winning Sanya Serenity Marina, where the fleet will be berthed: "I am very pleased to welcome Sanya as a Host Port and Team Partner. This is a beautiful resort in the south of China, with excellent marina facilities and a strong sailing heritage; I'm confident that our crew, partners and supporters will enjoy their time here.
"We also look forward to taking the name of Sanya around the world on their team yacht to attract even more international tourists to come here to discover everything the city has to offer."
Sanya was impressed by the Clipper Race’s strong reputation as a successful global marketing platform to showcase the city on the world stage.
Mayor of Sanya City, Mr. Wu Yanjun said: “Having a partnership with the Clipper Race helps us to promote the city brand profile and push the development of water sports.
“More significantly, it will help build up Sanya’s name as an international sailing destination and further enhance the city’s strategy of combining sports and tourism as a long-term development plan.
“Sanya will have everything ready to accommodate the Clipper Race and warmly welcome its sailing ‘warriors’ and international guests from all over the world for tourism, trade and investment.”
A yacht named Sanya will carry its international team, including carefully selected Sanya crew, to sail around the world.
The Clipper Race has had a long association with China over the last twelve years. The north eastern port of Qingdao was the first Chinese city to host the Clipper Race and field a team entry in 2005. It has completed six biennial editions so far and recently agreed to participate in two further races in 2017-18 and 2019-20 and is the longest ever consecutive partner.
Qingdao hosted the sailing events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic games and has built a powerful legacy through the Clipper Race by establishing a strong calendar of annual regattas, growing public participation in sailing, a strong marine business economy and developing its international profile.
Sanya is aiming for similar success with an emphasis on tourism. In recent years, it has worked with a number of international sailing competitions which have helped the city gain a lot of experience and skills in organising major events. The newly established partnership with the Clipper Race will further boost this development under the strategy of combining sports and tourism to improve Sanya city’s brand profile around the globe.
As a renowned domestic and international tourism destination, Sanya offers a distinctive combination of mountain, sea, golden beaches, river and city and warm temperatures which last through all seasons. It is also well known for its great warmth and hospitality from the local community.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is unique, it trains ordinary people, from all walks of life, to do something extraordinary: to race across the world's toughest oceans in a circumnavigation of the entire planet.
The race was established over 20 years ago and is preparing for its eleventh biennial edition featuring twelve identical 70 foot yachts in which 700 crew will participate throughout the year-long event. It is the world's greatest ocean adventure - a tough endurance challenge.
The Clipper Race fleet is anticipated to arrive in Sanya in the first quarter of 2018, and then again in 2020, as part of the Asia Pacific Leg.
For interview requests please contact:
Julia Fry, Head of Global Communications (UK based)
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Office: +44 (0) 2392 526000
Photograph: Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston with the Mayor of Sanya City, Mr. Wu Yanjun at the contract signing ceremony on Wednesday 15 February 2017 held at Sanya Serenity Marina.
About Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s largest-scale ocean adventure and is also regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. At 40,000 nautical miles long and taking almost a year to complete, it consists of twelve teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors.
Approximately 700 crew will complete in the next edition of the race. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.
This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to taxi drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 74.
Whether they choose to take on the whole circumnavigation or compete in one or more of eight individual legs, all our crew achieve something remarkable as they conquer some of the world’s most challenging oceans.
The overall route is split into a series of global races and a maximum 12 points going to first place ascending to 1 point for twelfth place. The team with the highest cumulative points at the end of the final race wins the series, and the Clipper Race trophy.
The next edition of the race is due to start in summer 2017. For more information, go to: www.clipperroundtheworld.com