For the first time since the 2008 games in Qingdao, the Chinese Yachting Association has moved back into skiff sailing, and they’ve moved in a big way.
In this first season of racing they have brought together sailors from the 470, Laser, Laser Radial and RSX to form three 49er sailboat teams and three 49erFX teams. China has large numbers of highly skilled sailors from the other Olympic classes and is able to bring together proven talent to form the nucleus of their new skiff team.
By moving into the skiff classes, the overall aim of the program is to further develop the culture of sailing in China and particularly inspire the next generation of Chinese sailors. The teams aim to compete at the highest possible level and in the next couple of years they will be fighting over the top positions in international events.
Team sponsor, Vanke Real Estate China, has assembled a World Class program without compromises. Clive Grant (GBR) and Vincent Wang (CHN) are the project leaders with Clive as the director of training and Vincent Wang is the CEO of Van Hang Sailing. They are the visionaries who developed this project. Lead by Chinese sailing federation, Coach Qi, there is a multinational team of coaches. Head coach and 2000 49er Gold Medalist, Jyrki Järvi (FIN), with 2016 Olympian Sara Tan (SIN) and numerous coaches and support staff form the support team for the sailors.
In order to jump start their program, a European training block was in put into place while their new boats are being brought into China. Team chartered boats in Lake Garda, Italy to start training as quickly as possible. After a two months training block the teams competed at the 2018 European Championship in Gdynia, Poland.
|He Xian||Yu Xuebin|
|Guo Fan||Zhou Yan|
|Yang Yin||Shi Shiqing|
|Hong Wei||Zhang Tao|
|Xiang Jian||Li Dianji|
|Li Zihe||Liu Tian|
The team is now in Jakarta preparing for the upcoming 2018 Asian Games. From their squad they have selected He Xian and Yu Xuebin in FX and Hong Wei and Zhang Tao in 49er to represent China.
In October this year, China will hold its very first Chinese 49er National Championships regatta with a fleet of eight 49ers and eight FXs provided by Vanke. CYA (China Yachting Association) will continue to work with Vanke as the main sponsor for a pathway program towards Tokyo Olympic in which the Head coach Jyrki Järvi and his team will play an important role.
With loads of talent in the boat and in support the Chinese skiff team are sure to become a force to be reckoned with. Look out for them at the Asian games and international regattas to come.