China Team represents the Qingdao International Yacht Club, and is the first Chinese team in the long history of the America's Cup. The team is led by Chaoyong WANG, the chairman of a leading Chinese venture capital firm. He has formed a partnership with Le Défi, a French challenger in the last two editions of the America's Cup, to acquire their knowledge base and assets, including two America's Cup Class boats from the last event.
'The America's Cup is too good an opportunity for us to pass up,' said WANG. 'As China has grown and developed, so has our interest in competing at the top levels of sport, business, management, technology and culture. The America's Cup allows us to do all of this in one event. China does not have a tradition at the America's Cup, but we hope to learn quickly and compete hard.'
China Team's alliance with Le Défi will give it a tremendous head start as a new team. The French squad competed in the last two America's Cups, as well as the Louis Vuitton Acts in 2004. Along with the assets of up-to-date boats and design information, Le Défi also offers expertise on the water and America's Cup project management skills ashore.
'Having China as the eleventh and final challenger for the 32nd America's Cup is tremendous for the event,' said an enthusiastic Michel BONNEFOUS, the CEO of the organizers. 'China Team is another first-time challenger in this edition of the Cup, and the presence of China will help us to spread the myth, the tradition and the excitement of the America's Cup into Asia.'
China Team will need to work quickly. The first races of the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 4&5 begin in just over one month. CHN 69, the boat the China Team will race is already in Valencia, Spain, undergoing modifications to conform to the newest update to the class rule. The team will begin sailing in Valencia at the end of May in preparation for racing.