The Volvo Ocean Race fleet arrives in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, the first time it has stopped in the Chinese mainland, on Feb 1, 2018.
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet received a warm welcome in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Thursday, the first time it has stopped in the Chinese mainland.
The fleet sailed up the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, whose Nansha district is positioning to promote sailing as a sport.
"The sport of sailing is becoming more popular in China. The stopover of the race fleet will help promote the sport in the country," said Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, an International Olympic Committee member from Hong Kong.
Sitting in second place behind race leaders Mapfre, the Chinese Dongfeng Race Team was feted by local fans upon arrival in Guangzhou.
"It is difficult. That is what is interesting, to manage to keep the team together, to perform, to improve even when you are exhausted. That's why it is so tough and what makes it different from all the other races in the world," said Charles Caudrelier, skipper of the Dongfeng Race Team.
David Witt, skipper of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, said the ocean race will increase its profile in Asia.
"Let's not forget we had two Asian teams running first and second in leg 4 of the race and I think that is a great indication of the interest and the growth of the sport here in Asia. You will see more of that in the future," Witt said.
The Volvo Ocean Race started on Oct 22 in Spain and will conclude in June in the Netherlands.