Caudrelier Chooses Crew For Auckland Practice Leg
Published: Tuesday, 18 March 2014
From OC Sport
Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier has picked six of the 12 Academy Squad sailors to sail the training leg from Sanya to Auckland in a re-enactment of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The chosen six Chinese sailors now move another step closer to realising their dream of making the final race crew onboard ‘Dongfeng’ for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in October. The six sailors are: Jin Hao Chen (Horace), Liu Ming (Leo), Ying Kit Cheng (Kit), Liu Xue, Jiru Yang (Wolf) and Yiran Zhang.
For the majority of these Chinese sailors it will be their first long offshore sailing experience. “The training process has been gruelling and we have all been in constant competition with each other, it’s such a fantastic feeling to be part of the group chosen by Charles for this particular journey because I know this will be great experience for us and will bring us another step closer to making it into the final race crew,” says Liu Xue. The remaining six sailors will represent Dongfeng Race Team on the 21st March in the Round Hainan Regatta, competing with the two Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200’s in China’s premier offshore sailing race. They will continue to train as part of the Dongfeng Race Team Academy Squad and are scheduled to re-join the team for training later in the programme.
Parallel to the Round Hainan Regatta, the Dongfeng Race Team are scheduled to depart from their Official Training Base Serenity Marina in Sanya on Thursday 20th March. “It has been a really important time for us here in Sanya, it has allowed the team to train in great conditions and really get to know our boat. Looking ahead, the next important step is to choose the crew and I think this journey will play a key part in that. It will allow us to really test their offshore stamina as it will be a long and tough leg,” explained Charles Caudrelier.
The journey from Sanya to Auckland is 5,264 nautical miles, expected to take around 21 days, and is considered as one of the toughest legs of the Volvo Ocean Race. Auckland is a legendary Volvo Ocean Race stopover and the city is preparing to welcome the team with open arms. “It’s great news that Dongfeng is coming to Auckland in April and we will welcome the boat and crew in style,” says Richard Wingfield, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the Auckland Stopover 2015. “This will be the first chance for Kiwis to see the new one-design boat and I know there’ll be a lot of people down at the waterfront eager to see it close-up.”