Dongfeng Race Team Arrive In Lorient
Published: Tuesday, 10 June 2014
The team arrived in Lorient, France at 1700 local time after completing their first Atlantic crossing onboard the new Volvo Ocean 65 Dongfeng, culminating in a huge achievement for the rookie Chinese sailors onboard. It’s now, in the coming days, that skipper Charles Caudrelier will decide which of the Chinese sailors will named as part of the final race crew.
“A transatlantic crossing was on our training schedule and we’ve successfully accomplished this. I’m proud of the entire team and our achievement but we must now look ahead to the next step,” says Caudrelier dockside. “I’m convinced we have a great team, we have passed a key stage in this campaign, we’ve found real talent in both the western and the Chinese crew and now my mission is to build a strong team with the men I will choose for my final crew.”
Having ticked a key box in their training programme, the Dongfeng crew arrived dockside in Lorient in the late hours of the afternoon where they were welcomed with open arms by family, friends and colleagues after 2,800 miles and 10 days at sea. It has been a wild journey from Newport to Lorient, with difficult weather conditions and a number of incidents that tested their seamanship and resolve.
“This journey has made me realise that I want this more than anything. I want to become a professional offshore sailor and I want to represent my country," says Wolf (Jiru Yang). "I’m constantly learning from my teammates and I like the feeling of pushing myself to the extreme which is what I have done during this trip.”
Horace (Jin Hao Chen) has been highly praised by Caudrelier during this trip, although he struggled with the lack of Chinese freeze dried food, his performance was first-rate throughout the trip. Chen was part of the first selection trials back in November alongside his colleagues Kit (Ying Kit Cheng) and Leo (Liu Ming), who are also in the running to make the final race crew. Although neither Cheng nor Ming were onboard for the transatlantic they have both covered significant ground with the team during the training in the Pacific.
Kong Chen Cheng, is the least experienced of the Chinese sailors. He arrived slightly later on the scene but has since shown great promise. He has been described as courageous and strong by Caudrelier who is convinced with more training he could become a true offshore sailor.
In total the team have now clocked up over 10,000 valuable training miles as they continue with their training programme right up until the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in October. The final race team will be announced on the 26th in Lorient France.