The first T&Z Marine-Beneteau Cup was successfully held in Qingdao, China over the weekend. Initiated by the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and its alumni companies, the two-day sailing challenge received significant support from the Qingdao government. It was organised by Beneteau’s local dealer, Cape-10, with support from the manufacturer.

Eight teams competed using the Beneteau First 40 – a classic model that is frequently used for both inshore and offshore regattas in Qingdao. In the run-up to the race, CEIBS competitors underwent comprehensive training starting in June, including sailing theory and on-water practice sessions.

According to the organisers: “The popularity of sailing is growing in China, especially in coastal cities like Qingdao. There is considerable interest in getting involved in sailing at amateur and professional level. Amateurs get involved in junior-level regattas, while professional sailors take part in sailing week programs and rallies. Last month, nine teams set out from Qingdao to complete the 2nd edition of the Fareast Cup, a 10-day round sailing rally from Qingdao to Mokpo, South Korea. Beneteau and its local dealer have been actively engaged in the Fareast Cup.

The T&Z Marine-Beneteau Cup and the Fareast Cup, together with the iconic Qingdao International Sailing Week and other sailing events, keep the waters in Qingdao active. The events in Qingdao have generated widespread interest in sailing in the city, with Beneteau yachts achieving a high profile.

While the sale of larger poweryachts has been in decline in China due to an anti-corruption crackdown over the past four years, sailing has been unaffected and now appears to have national and local government backing, as evident in Qingdao.