Extreme Sailing Series™ inspires China’s future sailing stars

Sailing is fast becoming a popular sport in China – and each of these youngsters could be a future star in the making. Dozens of local schoolchildren could barely contain their excitement as they met the Extreme Sailing Series™ competitors and saw their GC32 catamarans up close on the dock in Qingdao.

For many of them it was the first time they’d ever been that close to a boat, let alone one of the world’s most advanced catamarans. The kids got to step onto the GC32s’ trampolines, the netting between the two hulls, and hear from the sailors about how the boats lift out of the water on special hydrofoils.

Qingdao’s own Liu Xue, who goes by the nickname Black, was on hand to introduce his crewmates on One, flying the flag for China in the Extreme Sailing Series this season. “Every country’s future lies with its children,” Black said, “so it’s great to get these kids down to see the boats so we can explain to them what they are and what we do.

“When they see these boats they’re so excited. When I tell them these boats can fly they can’t believe it, they’re just amazed.

“Hopefully the next time they see a sailing boat they will remember their experiences with us in Qingdao.

“Some of them might then think to themselves that when they grow up they will become sailors.”

Ms Hao, a teacher from Dunhua Road primary school, said the visit was a hit with the schoolchildren. “It’s our first time seeing this kind of boat,” she said. “Qingdao is the Olympic sailing city in China, so our kids are interested in boats and sailing.

“All the kids were so excited to see the boats.

“We want them to have some sailing knowledge - that’s why we bring our students to Extreme Sailing Series.”

Taylor Canfield, skipper of the One team, was more than happy to show the youngsters around his boat. “It’s great to have the kids come down and check out the boat and meet all the sailors,” he added. “It’s a unique experience for them and a unique experience for us too. Hopefully it will inspire some of them to get out on the water and do some sailing.”