SYDNEY – February 1, 2019 – The China SailGP Team boat was officially launched on Sydney Harbour yesterday, kicking off the final preparation for the start of the new global sailing championship. SailGP’s inaugural event will stage in the iconic harbour in just two weeks.
The newly unveiled Chinese F50 catamaran – the fifth of six national SailGP boats to be unveiled – is uniformly red from wingtip to hull, and features the national flag and a dragon tattoo.
“The Chinese boat will be proudly sailed in this nation-versus-nation competition,” said Bruno Dubois, China SailGP Team principal. “We are eagerly looking forward to the first event, and believe that with this red dragon, we will show the world the potential of Chinese sailing.”
“With just four days to the Chinese New Year, this red dragon reminds me of the festival and happiness back in China,” said China SailGP Team grinder Liu Xue. “Red represents good luck in China and I hope our first race is as red as possible!”
The F50 is engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 100 kph). The unique and supercharged racing machine brings both excitement and challenge.
To prepare for the season, the China SailGP Team sailors have been travelling around the world since last September. They started in France for safety training, then went to the UK for simulator training, then New Zealand for sea trails. And now they will spend their Chinese New Year in Sydney.
SailGP has attracted rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States, with some of the world’s finest sailors.
“SailGP is where every professional sailor wants to be,” said China SailGP Team helmsman Phil Robertson. “The lure of racing the fastest boats against the best sailors is stuff you dream of. Leading the Chinese crew is a unique and incredibly exciting opportunity, and I believe we’ve got a fantastic team assembled.”
SailGP is a new challenge for the Chinese sailors. Liu Xue, Chen Jinhao and Liu Ming have participated in offshore sailing events in the past five years, and won the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Meanwhile, Wang Jue was a member of Team China for the 32nd America’s Cup.
“All of us are working hard, learning new technologies,” said Chen. “We are eager to help the team achieve good results.”
Designated by SailGP and World Sailing as a developing country, the China SailGP Team will have two Chinese sailors on board for Season 1, and will aim to build to 100 percent nationality by SailGP’s fourth season.
“I believe SailGP will offer a completely new taste of sailing to the current Chinese sailors, and this will help them become complete athletes,” said Dubois. “Meanwhile, we will recruit more talented Chinese sailors to join the team, and further promote the sport in China.”
Sydney SailGP will take place 15-16 February in Sydney Harbour. Tickets for a variety of exclusive spectator experiences are still available for the world-premiere SailGP event at SailGP.com/Sydney.
China SailGP Team
Phil Robertson (NZL) - Helmsman
Ed Powys (GBR) - Wing Trimmer
James Wierzbowski (AUS) - Flight Controller/Tactician
Liu ‘Black’ Xue (CHN) - Grinder
Chen ‘Horace’ Jinhao (CHN) - Grinder
Thomas LeBreton (FRA) - Reserve Wing Trimmer
Liu ‘Leo’ Ming (CHN) - Reserve Grinder
Wang Jue (CHN) - Reserve Grinder
SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism. The fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph). Visit SailGP.com for more information.
CHINA SAILGP TEAM MEDIA CONTACT
Xie ‘Shirley’ Yin
firstname.lastname@example.org // +8613764257976