The inaugural Guangzhou Nansha International Sailing Regatta begins on Friday, July 28, courtesy of the Peoples Government of Guangzhou and Nansha District.

In a move indicative of Chinese government support, the international regatta is being organised to promote the sport of sailing which has not been subject to the anti-corruption moves that have affected the sale of large power yachts in China.

The event is supported by the Chinese Yachting Association under the authority of the Asian Sailing Federation with the objective of supporting sailing in Guangzhou, one of the most prosperous provinces in China situated on the Pearl River Estuary.

There is a total of seven teams participating in the regatta representing China, Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Russia and Singapore. According to the organisers, this will jointly promote the cultural and historical links of the Ancient Maritime Silk Route.

Uniquely, the regatta will also see the first all-women sailing team from Russia which was invited by the regatta committee in order to promote more women from all over the world to take up sailing as a recreational or competitive sport.

During the three days of the regatta, the teams will compete for the main trophy – the Maritime Silk Road Cup – and the races can be easily viewed from the Nansha Marina clubhouse modelled after the numerous historic forts that guard the Pearl River Estuary.

Nansha Marina is located in Guangdong Province and on the Pearl River Estuary, easily accessible from both Hong Kong and Guangzhou, being about a one-hour ferry journey from both. The area is described by The Economist magazine as the 'Workshop of the World'. It is also a boat manufacturing hub, and now with the opening of marinas and the organisation of regattas, a leisure boating hub.

Nansha Marina is China’s first Five Gold Anchor Marina, which it was awarded in 2012 by the UK-based Yacht Harbour Association (THYA). Certification was renewed after three years by the Australian Marina Industry Association which now administers the Five Gold Anchor scheme in Asia.

Recently the China Maritime Safety Administration approved Nansha Marina as the only institute authorised to issue powered leisure craft driving licenses in the province. This involves an eight-day training course and passing the relevant examinations.

Nansha Marina is a planned stopover for next year's Volvo Ocean Race.