The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race Fleet

The strong relationship and connection between the Clipper Race and China will strengthen even further when the eleventh edition begins in Liverpool on Sunday 20 August.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will feature two Chinese host ports, with the race to not only return to Qingdao for a seventh time, but also visit Sanya for the first time. A record number of Chinese ambassadors will also be taking part in the opening leg from Liverpool to Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Qingdao, returning for a seventh consecutive race as an Official Partner and Host Port, will again be running its Ambassador Program. Yi ‘Frankie’ Zhen and Liu ‘Lisa’ Jingqiu will be representing China’s Sailing City in the Atlantic Trade Winds Leg.

Both ambassadors met with the Qingdao delegation for Qingdao’s Naming Ceremony at Liverpool’s Albert Dock on Friday. Mr Qi Guanghui, the Director of Committee of Education, Science, Culture, Health, and Sports of Qingdao Committee of the CPPCC, officially named the yacht, and wished the team well for their upcoming adventure.

“It’s great to have the three Qingdao Officials here,” says Chris Kobush, Skipper of Qingdao.

“Especially for the Naming ceremony, it was great that they could come all the way from China. I think it’s great motivation for the crew to have the Team Partner here ahead of Race Start.”

Sanya Serenity Coast will also have two ambassadors on board for the first race to Punta del Este. Yongqiang ‘Young’ Xie, 29, and Yanli ‘Alice’ Zhai, 29, will be flying flag for Sanya as they take on the Atlantic Trade Winds Leg.

Wendy Tuck, who is returning for her second Clipper Race and is the inaugural Skipper of Sanya Serenity Coast, says: “The Ambassador program is a very important part not only our team, but also for the Clipper Race.

“The Ambassadors give us a connection to our Team Partner Sanya and are teaching us about the culture and features of the wonderful city we will visit early next year.”

Sanya will be the first stopover port on The Asia Pacific Leg 5, with the fleet then to race around 1,600 nautical miles to Qingdao.

Sanya Serenity Coast, Qingdao, and the other ten teams will be going through the final stages of their preparations for Race Start today. The Clipper Race starts on Sunday at 1230 (BST), with events at Albert Dock, Liverpool, starting from 0800 (BST).