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Qingdao, a sailing city
2015-08-18
    
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        Boats prepare for the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao Act
        Glorious sunshine and bright skies make for a joyful traveling experience to coastal cities like Qingdao, Shandong province. 
        But sometimes it’s not so glorious. Sometimes it's cloudy, windy and even foggy, as it was during the three days of the May Day holiday. But it would take more than the weather to dampen the spirits of a spectacular sailing event. 
        The Extreme Sailing Series, one of the top international sailing events, was held from April 30 to May 3 in Qingdao, the third act in the 2015 season. Established in 2007, the event is the original ‘stadium-style' racing circuit designed for spectators, delivering high-performance action close to shore. 
        Qingdao, as China’s Olympic sailing city, has hosted several world-class sailing events including the Olympic Sailing Regatta in 2008.  
        A sailor sets a windward course.
        Fushan Bay, where the series was held, has a well-earned reputation for changeable and challenging sailing conditions, which increases the enjoyment for the dry spectators on shore. 
        Andy Tourell, event director of Extreme Sailing Series OC Sport, said Qingdao is a great sailing destination. 
         “Qingdao is an incredible city with Fushan Bay, public engagement, complete infrastructure and weather, all of which help make a great sailing experience that engages all of the senses of the spectators,” Tourell told reporters. 
        Besides the five professional sailors operating a 40-foot catamaran, a sixth person, or another non- professional participant was invited to get on aboard. 
        “This is the real charm of the Extreme Sailing Series”, said Song Kun, a commentator at the event. “If you are an avid football fan you can’t really compete with superstars you love on the field.” 
        “However, if you are keen on Extreme Sailing Series, you will have a chance to experience the competition and fly on the sea on your own,” said Song, who became famous last year as the first Chinese woman to complete a circumnavigation.  
        Through hosting world-class sailing events, Qingdao has continued to excel as a hotspot for sailing professionals and spectators in recent years.  
        Besides Olympic sailing events and Extreme Sailing Series, the city also hosted the Clipper Round the World Race, Volvo Ocean Race, and ISAF Sailing World Cup. 
        To date the city has hosted more international sailing events than any other Asian city and is well on the way to becoming Asia’s premier sailing center. 
        Since 2008, every third Saturday from August to September, the Qingdao International Sailing Week takes place in coastal waters around Qingdao and cities in Shandong.  
        Apart from hosting professional races, Qingdao is also promoting sailing among the public. The sport is enjoying rising popularity and since 2006 sailing courses at more than 140 local schools and clubs have opened. With 1,050 sailboats in town, the city has distributed 20,000 books about sailing to young people and more than 10,000 locals have received professional training in the sport. 
         “Qingdao has leveraged its Olympic sailing legacy and created an optimistic prospect for the next sailing generation,” said Tourell. 

  


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