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ISAF Extreme Sailing Series kicks off in China

Updated: 2011-08-29

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The ISAF Extreme Sailing Series made its debut Wednesday in east China's Qingdao city, with 44 top sailors from 13 countries and regions competing for five days.

Eleven 20-meter-high yachts started their first day's event at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and the yacht called "Muscat Wave" from Oman took the lead in the first round race.

"These yachts indeed sail faster than the ones I saw before. If the wind were stronger today, I think the race would be more exciting." said Zhao Li, a college student watching the race.

Other three sailing races will be held from Friday to Sunday.

Before coming to Qingdao, the Extreme Sailing Series had already held events in Muscat of Oman, and will visit Istanbul in Turkey, Boston in the United States, Cowes in Britain, Trapani in Italy, Nice in France, Almeria in Spain and Singapore.

Besides sailing races, Qingdao also organized some traditional physical exercises, like martial arts, to celebrate this sailing event at Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center.

Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province, is the venue of sailing events of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and has held top sailing events, such as Volvo Ocean Race, Clipper Round the World Race and America's Cup, since the Games.

Some world well-known sailors are invited by local organizing committee to communicate with 50 students from local primary and middle schools each morning during the events.

Roland Gaebler, skipper of Team Extreme from Europe, has met 50 students from Wendeng Road Primary School.

"These students are really smart and are willing to learn sailing. Meanwhile, I am surprised to find out they have already had some basic knowledge about sailing," Gaebler said.

With 138 schools and clubs training sailing, Qingdao has trained a total of 5,000 teenagers about sailing after the Olympic Games, said Wang Xiulin, vice mayor of Qingdao.

"Qingdao not only has excellent natural conditions for sailing events, like wind and water temperature, but also citizens and volunteers being ardent for sailing," said Laurent Joliat, an official of the organizing committee of the ISAF Extreme Sailing Series.

The ISAF Extreme Sailing Series, launched in 2007, was listed as one of the top four events of the ISAF.

Editor: Chen Zhilin

Source: English.news.cn