Officials are trying to bring a preliminary race of the America's Cup to Chinese waters as part of their build-up for hosting the sailing events of the 2008 Olympics. Zang Aimin, vice-mayor of Qingdao and a member of the executive board of Bocog (Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games), said yesterday they needed to stage more international sailing events in order to gather more experience before the games. The 10th and final preliminary race - known as an Act - of the 32nd America's Cup Challenge, which will be held in Valencia in June 2007, is up for grabs and Qingdao wants to stage the event. Act Seven was held in Malmo, Sweden, at the weekend and won by the America's Cup holders, Alinghi. 'All sailing facilities for the 2008 games will be ready by mid 2006,' said Zang. 'We are delighted with the progress of the venue construction and are confident it will be completed as scheduled. 'We would like to stage more international events in Qingdao so we can test the venue as well as our organisational ability so as to gain more experience. The 32nd America's Cup in 2007 is one of the world's most prestigious events in sailing and [the Act] is also one of our targets.' Sun Lijie, secretary general of the sailing committee (Qingdao) of Bocog, said: 'We have had initial discussions with the [America's Cup] organisers and things, such as venue requirements and commercial sponsorships, have to be sorted out. We definitely want to see the event take place in Qingdao before we host the Olympics events.' Zang said they had already entered a yacht under the name of 'Qingdao' in this year's Clipper Rally which will be launched on September 18 in Liverpool and is expected to arrive in Qingdao in late February 2006. Qingdao, a city of 730,000 people, is investing 3.3 billion yuan to build an international sailing marina along the Fushan Bay for hosting the sailing events of the games. Qingdao is one of the six cities other than Beijing that will host an Olympic event in 2008. The others are Shanghai, Shenyang, Qinhuangdao, and Tianjin (all soccer preliminary matches) and Hong Kong (equestrian events).