Clipper Ventures embarks on expansion plan in China

Zhang Xiaodong and William Ward OBE celebrate the launch of Clipper Ventures Chinese division Photo: Clipper Ventures
Zhang Xiaodong and William Ward OBE celebrate the launch of Clipper Ventures Chinese division Photo: Clipper Ventures

Clipper Ventures has announced the biggest expansion in its 23 year history with the opening of a new division in China.

The company, organiser of the Round the World Yacht Race, hopes that Clipper China will become the industry leader in the development of offshore training and sailing events in the country.

Together with running its own academies, the new division will build its own one-design keelboats and offshore racing yacht fleets under the aegis of British naval architect Tony Castro Design.

Announcing the news at the first China Sailing Cities forum in Beijing, William Ward OBE, chief executive and co-founder (together with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston) of Clipper Ventures, said: “Interest in sailing in China has never been higher. China has featured on the Clipper race route for the past 14 years. Out of over 40 nationalities of crew, China is now our third highest represented.”

The creation of the new division follows the meeting earlier this year between Clipper Ventures, the GREAT Britain campaign and the yachting associations of China and the UK. This meeting, held during the Clipper 2017-2018 race’s stopover in Qingdao, saw all parties committing to help make China a world sailing force.

Madam Zhang Xiaodong, president of the China Yachting Association (CYA), said: “The Clipper race is the most well-known offshore sailing brand in China with the UK respected for its long-standing sailing heritage.”

“The CYA expects to see over 400 yacht clubs with more than 150,000 sailing participants by 2021, an increase of 150 per cent on the current level,” she added.

Clipper China aims to open its first academy and launch the first yachts in its one-design fleet next year.

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