Developing the Culture of Chinese Sailing
Published on August 21st, 2018
At the 2018 Sailing World Championships, China was competing in each of the 10 Olympic events with the exception of the skiff events. They had sent no teams for the 49er Men or the 49erFX events as their focus was elsewhere…but that’s about to change.
For the first time since the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the Chinese Yachting Association has moved back into skiff sailing, using a classic and proven formula which is to develop sailors in other elite level classes and move them over.
In this first season of racing they have brought together sailors from the 470, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X to form three 49er 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.
Team sponsor, Vanke Real Estate China, has assembled a World Class program without compromises. Alongside a management group is a multinational team of coaches and support staff to assist the sailors.
In order to jump start their program, a European training block was 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. While they didn’t do too well, don’t expect that to last.
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.
Having talent and support, and instilling a squad approach to advance the country as opposed to an individual, fosters immediate strength and a sustainable program. Ah, the benefits of a controlling government that sees sport as a means to build a strong nation.