Xu Jingkun becomes China's first sailor of finishing solo transatlantic race Route Du Rhum
China's top Paralympic sailor Xu Jingkun has entered the history books as his nation's first competitor of finishing the solo transatlantic race Route Du Rhum.
China's top Paralympic sailor Xu Jingkun [Photo/Dazhong News]
Xu, 33, who lost his left forearm aged 12, raced against the elements, the clock and 137 sailors from 14 countries on the 3,543 nautical mile journey, crossing the Atlantic between Saint-Malo in Brittany, France and Pointe-à-Pitre on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. It took 16 days, 8 hours and 34 minutes.
The solo non-stop race was launched in 1978. Every four years it sails the same route from St Malo to Guadeloupe.
"Sailing is one of the few sports in which disabled and able-bodied athletes can compete together and reach the top level of the world," said Xu.
"Participating in the world's top offshore sailing events is also a statement of our Chinese nautical spirit, which has never faded," he added.
Xu Jingkun in the solo transatlantic race Route Du Rhum [Photo/Dazhong News]
Xu, from Qingdao, was a member of China's sailing team at the 2008 Paralympic Games, and finished fourth in the Para World Sailing Championships in Kiel, Germany, charting a new history for China in men's solo sailing.
In 2017, he sailed away on the catamaran "Qingdao Dream" on a three-year round-the-world 34,000 nautical mile voyage, China's first round-the-world voyage by catamaran.