Rocky seas ahead

Updated: 2013-06-09 03:54

By Tang Zhe and Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao (China Daily)

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The team's new lineup trained together for just over a month in Sanya, Hainan province, and trained with the AC45, the catamaran used in the tournament, for about 10 days ahead of the Naples competition. It finished last among nine teams, with a best finish of seventh.

Rocky seas ahead

"It's unrealistic to ask for remarkable results right now — at least we are having more Chinese young sailors in this elite competition," Fang said. "We are also expecting to include more crew in the team, at least 10 to 12 total, to provide more sailors with opportunities, to choose the best and create a good rotation."

Having first started with the original China Team, which was all western sailors, as skipper in the America's Cup in 2011, Booth said his return is a whole new challenge for him.

"The challenge is to start with really nothing, a clean sheet," Booth said while leading the squad in the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao from May 2-5.

"In the past, whenever I was in the America's Cup or any project, the quickest way is to find the most experienced people in our team," he said. "But now it's a completely different philosophy of trying to do an America's Cup. We start from one, and we build to get a team.

"We are racing on a very difficult boat with virtually no training time, we are racing against the best sailors in the world. To even compete in that level is a big achievement for the Chinese sailors. I am very satisfied with their performance in Naples — I couldn't imagine that happening two years ago when I first started with the China Team."

The skipper said what the Chinese most need is to keep traveling to international sailing races to gain experiences against the best teams. He wants to develop more Chinese crew, in particular a Chinese skipper.

"My ambition is to develop them to a level where I don't sail on the boat, they sail by themselves, and I will become the coach," said the Australian. "I would like to see them race with a full Chinese team at an America's Cup. It's a long way to that point, but we will try."

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