Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Some of the world’s most famous and accomplished sailors are getting ready for the start of the ninth China Cup International Regatta (Oct 30-Nov 2).

Emirates Team New Zealand Joins 9th China Cup

(Photo: Studio Borlenghi/China Cup)

The four-day regatta starts with a passage race and concludes after three days of short-course racing in Daya Bay near Shenzhen, China.

With 111 boats representing more than 30 different regions and nations, entered across six racing divisions, the international fleet sees everyone from virtual beginners to Olympic Champions racing alongside each other.

The Beneteau 40.7 fleet is one of the most contested. A new entry to watch out for is Emirates Team New Zealand, joining the fleet after coming in second at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event in Bermuda. Chris Steele will skipper the team, and the crew will include heavy hitters from the America’s Cup including Kelvin Harrap.

Emirates Team New Zealand Joins 9th China Cup 2

(Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand)

The Kiwi team is in for heavy competition in the 40.7s, as Volvo Ocean Race veteran and former match racing world champion Adam Minoprio sails onboard with Steve McConaghy’s Team Wanhang Longcheer.

The China Sailing Tour team will be skippered by America’s Cup and ocean racing sailor Liu Xue. Among his crew are members of the Dongfeng Race Team that competed in the Volvo Ocean Race earlier this year.

International Sailing Federation Vice President Scott Perry is skippering Team Yauguru, whose crew usually competes on a 1947 classic boat in regattas in Uruguay and Argentina. The team is looking forward to competing in China for the first time.

Among the faster boats in the fleet will be the TP52 Team Centennial, which is sailing from the Philippines to race in the regatta.

Previous division winners to watch out for include Shawn Kang’s Beneteau 50 Lighthorse, Nick Southward’s J/109 Whiskey Jack and last year’s IRC division winner Jelik III, the Reichel-Pugh 75ft racing sled skippered by famous Hong Kong sailor Frank Pong.

Jelik III will be expected to be among the front runners in the opening Hong Kong-Shenzhen Passage Race to Daya Bay, where the regatta will be based for the remaining three days of inshore racing.

For the local crews, racing against such high-quality international competition offers a great opportunity to advance their own skills as the sport of sailing continues to grow in China.

Emirates Team New Zealand Joins 9th China Cup 1

(Photo: Studio Borlenghi/China Cup)

For the first time at the China Cup, jury chairman John Doerr and his international jury are using on-the-water judging, which should lead to fairer racing and shorter evenings in the protest room. 

Nine Racing Classes Competing:

  • One Design Class Beneteau First 40.7
  • One Design Class Far East 28R
  • One Design Class J80
  • One Design Class Asian Sailing Federation 
  • Class HKPN A, HKPN B
  • Class IRC A, IRC B, IRC C