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18 thrill seekers to represent the tropical paradise of Sanya in Clipper Race

by Kathryn Pridie 27 Apr 09:15 BST
Sanya ambassadors for the Clipper 2019-20 Race © Clipper Ventures

Eighteen thrill seekers have been selected to represent the upscale tropical resort of Sanya, China, as they embark on an adventure of a lifetime racing across oceans in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race.

Following a gruelling selection process, sixteen adventurous candidates including; a graphic designer, CEO, bilingual event host, snowboard instructor student and engineer; two reserves, plus one media crew member, were chosen to form the tag team of ambassadors who will race on board the Visit Sanya, China team. Almost 40 percent are from Hainan Island, where Sanya is located, and the remaining have strong connections to Sanya, or hail from across Europe including UK, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.

Their mission is to help promote China's best kept secret, the idyllic tropical paradise of Sanya, including its 250km of white sandy beaches, visa-free entry for nearly 60 countries, and free trade zone as they race around the planet on the resort's team entry in the biggest round the world yacht race.

When the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race gets under way from the UK this summer, the Sanya Ambassadors will spend eleven months being pushed to their physical limits, racing through some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. At times, the nearest human life to the crew will be those in the International Space Station. In the previous edition of the Clipper Race, the teams faced phenomenal sea states with waves over 14m tall, hurricane force winds and temperatures below freezing.

Wei Bai 'Ivy', 49, a Vice Dean in International Leadership Institute and Business Administration, is one of the lucky selected Sanya Ambassadors. Speaking at the press conference, she said: "For me, this is a dream come true! I am so excited, happy, and proud to be given the opportunity to represent Sanya and help to tell the world about this incredible destination form the tropical beaches, endless sunshine, and ease of access with visa free entry. It really is the opportunity of a lifetime.

"I can't wait to get started with Clipper Race training in the UK next month!"

Over 50 percent of the selected Sanya Ambassadors are female; the ten women and nine men, ranging in age from 23 to 51, will travel to Clipper Race HQ in Portsmouth, UK, next month to embark on an intensive four levels of mandatory Clipper Race training. Compulsory for everyone taking part in the Clipper Race, the training will ensure the Sanya Ambassador crew members are safe on board and ready for what Mother Nature has in store when they join their international high-performance team.

One of the Sanya Ambassadors, MingHao Zhang, will become the first Sanya representative to complete the entire circumnavigation when he completes Leg 2 in the 2019-20 edition, after previously completing seven of eight Legs as a media crew member in the Clipper 2017-18 Race

Deputy Secretary of Sanya Municipal Government-Mr. Li Wujun said: "Clipper Round The World Yacht Race is the largest ocean race of its kind in the world, and apart from being a sailing event, Clipper Race has also proven to be a successful global platform through which race partners have been able to promote their brands and their key messages to the world. In the last race during Sanya's debut show in Clipper Race, we made history by becoming the first Chinese overall winner in over 20 years' history of Clipper Race, the success story has attracted numerous international media attentions and significantly enhanced Sanya's brand as a leading tropical tourism as well as an international sailing destination.

"In the upcoming Clipper 2019-20 Race, Sanya, under the foundation of previous glory, will continue to promote the city with a new task to become Hainan Province's Free Trade Zone to be seen by the world."

Regarded as one of the toughest challenges on the planet, the Clipper Race is the only event which trains everyday people to make six ocean crossings, covering six continents, testing them to their absolute limit. Fewer people have sailed around the world than climbed Mount Everest, and with 40 percent of crew having no previous sailing experience before signing up, the achievement is all the more incredible.

Laying on the southern tip of Hainan Island, the upscale tropical paradise of Sanya will be the first of three Chinese Host Ports on the Clipper 2019-20 Race route. Boasting picture-perfect sandy beaches lined with coconut palms, pristine waters and a balmy climate with 300 days of sunshine per year, China's idyllic holiday destination lives up to its reputation as the 'Hawaii of China'.

Sanya ambassadors for the Clipper 2019-20 Race:

  • Scott Draper, 32, Bilingual Event Host
  • Yun Ye 'Irene', 47, Manager
  • Wei Bei 'Ivy', 49, Vice Dean International Leadership Institute and Business Administration
  • Jing Sun, 'Sunny', 23, Journalist
  • Xueyao Qian 'Lisa', 33, Project Manager
  • Xu Yu, 'Sophia', 49, Restaurant Owner
  • Rong Wang, 'Rong', Consultant
  • Yang Lyu, 'Yang', 51, Engineer
  • Jiong Guan, 'Jiong', 47, Managment
  • Feng Liasheng, 'Sam', 27, Snowboard Instructor
  • Qiang Zhu, 'John', 46, Translator
  • Liang Dan, 'Peony', 37, Head of Finance
  • Wang Wanggui, 'Taylor', 48, CEO
  • Shengda Xu, 'Bob', 27, Student
  • Lijuan Huang, 'Sue', 34, Graphic Designer
  • Zhang Minghao 'Ming', 37, TV Producer
  • Xi Guan, 'Guan', 31, Film Director (Media Crew)
  • Meng Li, LiMeng, 32, General Manager (Reserve)
  • Jiapeng Liu, 'Phoebe', 34, Brand Promotion Manager (Reserve)

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