Dragon on water: China gets ready for Sydney SailGP

31 JANUARY 2019News
  • China
  • Sydney SailGP

SYDNEY – February 1, 2019 – The China SailGP Team boat was officially launched on Sydney Harbour yesterday, kicking off the final preparation for the start of the new global sailing championship. SailGP’s inaugural event will stage in the iconic harbour in just two weeks.

The newly unveiled Chinese F50 catamaran – the fifth of six national SailGP boats to be unveiled – is uniformly red from wingtip to hull, and features the national flag and a dragon tattoo.

“The Chinese boat will be proudly sailed in this nation-versus-nation competition,” said Bruno Dubois, China SailGP Team principal. “We are eagerly looking forward to the first event, and believe that with this red dragon, we will show the world the potential of Chinese sailing.”

“With just four days to the Chinese New Year, this red dragon reminds me of the festival and happiness back in China. Red represents good luck in China and I hope our first race is as red as possible!”

Liu Xue,China SailGP Team grinder

The F50 is engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 100 kph). The unique and supercharged racing machine brings both excitement and challenge.

To prepare for the season, the China SailGP Team sailors have been travelling around the world since last September. They started in France for safety training, then went to the UK for simulator training, then New Zealand for sea trails - now, they will spend their Chinese New Year in Sydney.

SailGP has attracted rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States, with some of the world’s finest sailors.

“SailGP is where every professional sailor wants to be. The lure of racing the fastest boats against the best sailors is stuff you dream of. Leading the Chinese crew is a unique and incredibly exciting opportunity, and I believe we’ve got a fantastic team assembled.”

Phil Robertson, China SailGP Team helmsman

SailGP is a new challenge for the Chinese sailors. Liu Xue, Chen Jinhao and Liu Ming have participated in offshore sailing events in the past five years, and won the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Meanwhile, Wang Jue was a member of Team China for the 32nd America’s Cup.

“All of us are working hard, learning new technologies,” said Chen. “We are eager to help the team achieve good results.”

Designated by SailGP and World Sailing as a developing country, the China SailGP Team will have two Chinese sailors on board for Season 1, and will aim to build to 100 percent nationality by SailGP’s fourth season.

“I believe SailGP will offer a completely new taste of sailing to the current Chinese sailors, and this will help them become complete athletes. Meanwhile, we will recruit more talented Chinese sailors to join the team, and further promote the sport in China.”

Bruno Dubois, China SailGP Team

Sydney SailGP will take place February 15-16 in Sydney Harbour. Tickets for a variety of exclusive spectator experiences are still available for the world-premiere SailGP event at SailGP.com/Sydney

Inside the China SailGP Team's first sailing day