21 Jun 2012

Dinner meeting: The China Team and the America’s Cup

Six members from our sister club, Rotary Club of Yokohama Midori, visited us at our dinner meeting.  President Martin presented a photo and framed embroidery made by Liangshan villages leprosy patients to each Rotarian form Rotary Club of Yokohama Midori.  In addition, we had visiting Rotarians from Canada and India.

President Martin presented Bequest Society Membership Level Two to PP Kishore and Level Three to PP Peter Chu.

Our speaker today was Mr. Yann Dabbadie, who spoke on “The China Team and the America’s Cup”.  The goal of the China Team is to bring together young Chinese talent and experienced Asian sportsmen to form a brand new team for the 32nd America’s Cup.

The Chinese Yachting Association (CYA) is the official organization which, under the authority of the Ministry of Sports (GAS) oversees sailing in China. Its secretary general, Li Quanhai, director of aquatic sports in GAS, was present during the first discussions concerning creating CHINA TEAM and advancing the development of the team. He is the one who oversaw introducing the first Chinese sailors into the history of the Cup. So this is how Zhao Fei, Liu Guangyi and Wang Peirui, came to join the team in May 2005 and participated in the six Louis Vuitton Acts of 2005.

In February 2006, CHINA TEAM and the Chinese yachting association signed a partnership for the next two America’s Cups. Common objective: organize the recruitment and selection of Chinese sailors in a systematic way whilst developing sailing and its competition in China for the next two editions.

In 2006, the CHINA TEAM and the CYA organized Sailing Camps in China: training sessions and recruiting took place with CHINA TEAM permanent crew, who sailed with the young Chinese sailors in a match race format. The best amongst them will have a chance to join CHINA TEAM.

The first Sailing Camp took place in March 2006 with 12 Chinese sailors, then in Hong-Kong for training aboard Jelik and Boracay, 2 maxis made available by Franck Pong. 5 sailors joined the team in Valencia for Acts 10 and 12.  The session in Shenzhen was followed by a sailing camp in Qingdao in September 2006 and another in Xiamen in November 2006.

Sergeant at Arms Rtn Praveen collected HK$1220 for raffle and fines, also our visiting Rotarians from Rotary Club of Yokohama Midori donated HK$1000 to us.  PP Kishore got the raffle prize as a box of Chinese Cookies, Rtn Charles and PP Peter Chu got a bottle of Sake each donated by Rotary Club of Yokohama Midori, and Rtn Michael Lam got a box of Japanese Cakes.