Chinese get crew chance
By BRUCE MACDONALD
FIVE members of the Chinese Yachting Association will crew aboard one of Hong Kong's leading boats in next month's Corum Cup series, the final leg of the Champagne Mumm World Cup series.
Chairman of the Corum Cup organising committee and owner of the IMX38, Wizard, Steve Ellis, has offered five of the 10 places on his boat to the Chinese.
Ellis said even though he would have only a week to mould the Chinese into a cohesive unit, he expected them to be good sailors.
'I suspect that most of them will have had experience with dinghies so they should be good sail trimmers,' Ellis said yesterday.
Wizard competed in the third leg of the World Cup in Hawaii and won Division E for boats under 40 feet.
Ellis remained upbeat about his prospects in the IMS (International Measurement System) division for racing boats which features a fleet of 11 craft, including five overseas entries.
A total of 57 entries have been received for this year's series.
The six-race series begins on October 22 in the waters off Clearwater Bay.
Chairman of Swiss watchmaker Corum, Jean-Rene Bannwart, said he was delighted that the five Chinese from Zhejiang Province - Shen Guoliang, Xia Yuerong, Tang Zhizhong, Wang Liwei and Yan Shenghong - have accepted the invitation.
'With the possibility of the 2004 Olympic Games being held in Beijing, China would benefit enormously from this invitation to participate in a major international sailing series,' Bannwart said.
In addition to the five sailors, the chairman of the Chinese Yachting Association will also travel to Hong Kong.