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National sailing contest ideal promotion for growing sport


Updated: 2016-08-30


A summer camp for school students is one of the latest events this year to help increase public enthusiasm for sailing. [Provided to CHINA DAILY]

Zhuhai is attracting growing attention from Chinese aquatic sports fans now that it will host China’s largest and highest-level sailing competition from Oct. 18 to 23.

It will be the first time the coastal city in Guangdong province has hosted the annual National Sailing Championships.

According to the General Administration of Sports, Zhuhai stood out among the candidate cities due to its “rich wind resources, superior sea conditions, beautiful urban environment and ample experience in hosting large exhibitions and sports events”.

Hosting the event is of great significance to the growth of sea sports and the ocean economy in Zhuhai, said Wu Xiangming, deputy director of Zhuhai Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau.

It will also help promote a multidimensional transformation of the city’s yacht industry and help it achieve full-chain development that will range from research and development to manufacturing, insurance, training and tourism, Wu added.

The city is also considering sponsoring windsurfing and canoeing events and is applying to host international sailing championships in the near future.

Local officials also hope the event will boost residents’ enthusiasm for other sea sports in a bid to nurture a new growth area for Zhuhai’s aquatic leisure tourism sector.

Each year, the championships, which are considered a springboard to the Olympic Games and other international competitions, will attract hundreds of China’s elite sailors, both as individuals and teams.

Over five days, about 200 athletes will take part in five Olympic-level events, including the men’s and women’s 470 classes. Zhuhai has also established its first sailing team, named Jiuzhou, to take part in the event.

Preparations including the launch of an official WeChat account and a campaign to collect public designs for a logo, mascot and slogans are proceeding smoothly, said the event’s organizing committee.

And an environmentally friendly service center — a yellow container building that is easy to disassemble — has been put into service.

In addition, the committee sees the event as a great opportunity to popularize water sports among teenagers. It organized a series of related activities, such as lectures on basic knowledge of sailing, for school students in July and also hosted a summer camp for Op Sail classes for students aged 8 to 15.

The top 10 winners of the camp’s final test will win a chance to interact face-to-face with winners of the 2016 National Sailing Championships.

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