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Chinese team to debut on the Rolex Sydney Hobart race
Much like Gianni Agnelli, Ted Turner, Larry Ellison, and several other gazillionaires before them, a group of Chinese businessmen have taken a liking to the world of high-performance sailing and are now set to flex their muscles in the 71st edition of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Taking a page off Larry Ellison, the group has hired a Kiwi to help the team take the glorious-looking, Botin & Carkeek-designed Ark323 to victory. But aside from him, Sail Word reports that it’s a wholly Chinese team – a first, they point out – as Serena Cai, the team’s manager, told the magazine:
“Ark323 is a purely Chinese entry; a Chinese owner, crew and administrators. The yacht is representing Noah Sailing Club in Shanghai, but we do have a coach from New Zealand. The boat is owned by Noah’s Group, which is led by Wilson Lee and sponsored by E-commerce company Nuoego.com.”
Their entry appears to be a source of great pride for Mr. Lee, who told Sail World:
“We made a decision to enter the Rolex Sydney Hobart because of the nature of the prestigious event, the challenge it presents. It is also one of the ultimate platforms to showcase the Chinese team and the Club’s passion to increase a Chinese presence at international yachting events.”
I wish them all the best, though it does appear to be a tough race; Harburg Investments’ Peter Harburg and his champion crew are also in, while Colin Buffin – who may or may not be a senior MD at Candover Partners – has brought along Sydney Hobart vets to help him win the race.