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Shanghai Yacht Club partners with ChinaSpirit for America’s Cup 35 Effort

San Francisco / Shanghai Sister City Committee

Shanghai Yacht Club partners with ChinaSpirit for America’s Cup 35 Effort

San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee Lends Support

4 October 2012 – San Francisco, CA: With the backdrop of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the towering masts of the America’s Cup World Series racing yachts, ChinaSpirit, in partnership with the Shanghai Yacht Club and the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee, announced its plans today to take part in the 35th America’s Cup and also next year’s Red Bull America’s Cup Youth Series.

“ChinaSpirit is about China regaining their rightful position on the world’s oceans,” said Noëlle Smulders, ChinaSpirit CEO. “Around 1421, China ruled the seas under Zheng He, and China is ready to regain that vision and passion to be part of the best in the world, when it comes to sailing and the seas in general. It is also about getting the youth in China excited about the oceans. And when people are excited, great things happen, such as better conservation and protection of marine resources; ChinaSpirit includes a complete educational aspect with respect to the environment as well”.

ChinaSpirit is not a challenger for the 34th America’s Cup; rather, ChinaSpirit has registered for the 2013 America’s Cup Youth Races: a first step to launching its initial activities to build a strong team that represents the whole of China. This will lead to a foundation to create a prospective challenger for the 35th America’s Cup.

“Sailing is a sport that is growing rapidly in China,” said Shanghai Yacht Club Commodore Aaron Lee (Li Ying Nan). “San Francisco, host of the 34th America’s Cup and with its large Chinese community, is the perfect place to make this announcement.”

Speaking in support of today’s announcement at the St. Francis Yacht Club were Bruno Trouble from Louis Vuitton, Mark Chandler from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office; Maggie Wei, Vice President of Marketing for Cosco Shipping, and Tom Kiely, Executive Vice President for San Francisco Travel, and James Fang, Executive Director of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee.

“The San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee is America’s oldest and most successful sister city program,” said Fang. “Based on 32 years of mutual collaboration, the committee plays a pivotal role in promoting cultural understanding and economic development between the two regions. It is considered one of the nation’s critical links to China. Our aspiration is that through the sport of sailing, the cultural and economic bonds will strengthen and flourish, not only between San Francisco and Shanghai, but everywhere.

 “ChinaSpirit is about creating a new approach to sailing in China,” said Commodore Li. “With ChinaSpirit, we share a vision for the sport of sailing in China. ChinaSpirit is not just about racing; it’s about creating a new energy and spirit for the sport of sailing in Shanghai and China, and making it happen through partnerships and training programs. We are excited to be a part of this initiative. Events like the record setting crossing from Shanghai to San Francisco in 2013 are just a few of the upcoming activities that we have planned with ChinaSpirit.”

“The America’s Cup is not just about sailing, it’s about sports excellence, technological innovation and leadership,” Smulders summed up. “China has already proven that it has strengths in each of these areas. the challenge for ChinaSpirit will be to bring these Chinese skills together for a winning combination. We believe that we can do this.”

For more information about the ongoing efforts of ChinaSpirit go to: