Small boats, big ambitions in long march
China Team are taking their pledge to create a yachting nation to the boatyard, designing and buying a fleet of small training yachts for their sailing academy.
Xavier De Lesquen, executive director of the team, said they had been working with New Zealand boat designer Steve Thompson to create a seven-metre sport boat that's fast but affordable.
'If we want to develop sailing in China, we have to solve the main problem we have, which is no boats,' he said.
The keel boat, comparable to a Lazer SB3, will be a day sailor with a carbon mast. The first two boats should be out of the Chinese factory in July. China Team have ordered eight boats, which will cost between US$25,000 and US$30,000 each, with plans to create a sailing academy in Xiamen. They hope to plant the seeds of a competitive but low-entry one-design class.
'We want a boat that is good for the sailor used to performance, but that amateurs can afford and use without too much problem,' De Lesquen said.