Young Chinese enthusiasts get tips from top woman sailor

Updated: 2015-02-05 20:03

By Liu Xiaoli and Huang Yiming(

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Young Chinese sailors were invited for a meet-and-greet with Liz Wardley, watch captain of Team SCA, one of the seven teams taking part in Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 in Sanya this week.

The 35 young sailors, all under 15 years of age who compete in Optimist dinghies, traveled from different parts of the country with the aim of advancing their skills and professional ambition.

Australian Wardley told her young guests about the creation of Team SCA - the first 100 percent professional women's team to compete in the race - the crew's adventures at sea and her role as watch captain..

"It was a delight to meet with children who are at the beginning of a life-long journey with sailing," said Wardley, who in 1999 became the first woman to win the Sydney-Hobart Race. "I hope the story of Team SCA and my personal experience will leave a positive impact on their lives in pursuit of their dreams".

With extensive racing experience, Wardley was onboard Amer Sports Too, an all-female crew in the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race, and chosen as one of the first five crew members aboard Team SCA during a rigorous recruitment process which saw the final 13 crew members selected from about 250 candidates from around the world.

"These children have been sailing for a year and they are very excited to learn about Team SCA's global journey. Liz's story has definitely inspired them to pursue their ambitions in sailing. I'm excited to see more Chinese sailors competing in offshore events in the near future." says Ma Fulai, head coach of the Hainan sailing team.

Sponsored by SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company, Team SCA, together with the six other entrants, including race leaders Dongfeng Race Team of China, will embark on the fourth leg, a journey of 5,264 miles from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand, on Sunday.

The 9-leg race concludes in late June in Sweden where SCA is headquartered. Team SCA currently ranks sixth on the leader board and third in the In-Port Race series.

"The women of Team SCA come from all walks of life and backgrounds, proving that anyone, women, men or children, can achieve their goals in life with passion, hard work and determination, regardless of gender or age," said Lynn Tan, Director Communications, Asia Pacific, SCA. "We hope to inspire these young Chinese sailors to pursue their aspirations".