Teng Jianghe
A 37-year-old Chinese entrepreneur has given up business to become the first sailor from his country to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Teng Jianghe built up his own construction company in Guangzhou but spent much of the last year learning the ropes yachting before landing a five-week trial with Team Sanya, the first Chinese entry in the competition.
The hard work has paid off and organisers on Monday announced that Teng, nicknamed ‘Tiger’, would become the first Chinese sailor to compete in the nine-month, 39,000 nautical mile competition starting here on Oct 29.
"It’s a very special day for me — a dream come true," Teng was quoted as saying in a statement.
Apart from other tricks of the trade, Teng is swotting up on a mixture of English and Maori, including ‘Kia Ora mate!’ (‘Greetings, mate!), from his New Zealand skipper Mike Sanderson and wants his compatriots to follow in his footsteps.
"I hope that many Chinese people will become inspired to learn to sail through my experience and I also hope that we can encourage many people to visit the tropical destination of Sanya by promoting the profile of Hainan and Sanya through our beautiful race boat colours."
Teng only sailed for the first time in May last year but managed to convince his captain to make him part of the crew.
"From day one, Tiger has impressed everyone in the team. He is determined, focused and has an endless hunger to learn everything he can – both on and off the boat," said Sanderson.

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