Launch of the world's first Trans-Pacific Yacht Race
October 12, 2016, Beijing – The Pacific Cup International Yacht Race, initiated by Zhai Mo, China’s “Oceanic Goodwill Ambassador” and the first Chinese national to sail around the world solo, was officially launched today.
Designed as the world’s most risky and challenging yacht race, the inaugural Pacific Cup International Yacht Race will be held in the winter of 2018. It will start from Shanghai and end in Los Angeles with a total distance of 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km). Chinese sailboats will be used in the event and teams from the world's top sailing clubs will be invited. Participants will only be allowed to use traditional navigation tools such as those that rely on astronomy. The use of electronic navigational equipment will be prohibited throughout the race. The timing of the event coincides with the Pacific’s windiest season which sees 8~10 gale-force winds. Under these conditions, yachts will be able to reach speeds of up to 40~50 knots. The race is designed to be the world's top professional sailing event. It aims to push the limits of human ability in the face of challenges of the natural world.
During the launch ceremony, Zhai Mo, world-renowned navigator, artist and founder of the event, said that he had worked on this event for ten years. Since as early as 2007, the year he sailed around the world solo, Zhai Mo conducted detailed research on the currents, wind, weather and astronomy of the Pacific Ocean. Having then discussed the subject with both domestic and foreign experts, it was agreed that the Pacific Ocean would be the most suitable venue for a world-class race event due to its unique environmental challenges. Surprisingly, although there are more than 30 countries on the Pacific Rim, there has not been a trans-pacific sailing event until now. This event is a milestone in the history of the sailing world.
Guo Jie, vice chairman of the Chinese Culture Promotion Association, added that the Pacific Cup International Yacht Race would also foster China’s growing links with the world maritime economy. Furthermore, it would also promote friendship and cooperation between people and cultures.
The Pacific Cup International Yacht Race is designed to be a recurring international event that would be held every two years. Participants will be bound by a set of established race rules. Notably, participants will be required to rely on traditional maritime techniques and technology, including traditional navigational tools developed by the Chinese. A total of 10 million RMB worth of prizes will be awarded to winning teams.
The Pacific Cup International Yacht Race will play a significant role in support of the Chinese’s Government’s policy of developing the national sports and fitness, as well as boosting China’s global sporting stature. The event will also promote international growth and cooperation.
Supporters for this event include the Pacific Society of China, China Institute of Navigation and Chinese Culture Promotion Association. More than 200 guests attended the conference including Government leaders, diplomats from foreign embassies in China, representatives from famous sailing clubs at home and abroad, and celebrities in various sectors.