Clipper China is set to open its first Training Academy after signing a joint venture with Qingdao Zhenghai Watersports Management Co. Ltd. After almost four decades of sailing instruction in the UK, this will be Clipper Ventures’ first training base in China. The adventure brand is committed to rolling out further academies across the country, all using its bespoke fleet of training yachts.

The Clipper China Training Academy will open in Qingdao and will launch in the first half of 2025. The academy will offer a full programme of sailing courses – from beginner level to advanced – along with hosting inshore and offshore regattas. The location for the first training centre will be at the heart of a brand new marina in Lingshan Bay on the West Coast of Qingdao.

Clipper Ventures is one of the leading providers of sail training in the UK. It has trained over 6000 crew for participation in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in its 28 year history. It also sees over 2500 students pass through the doors at its training centre Hamble School of Yachting every year. The Clipper China Training Academy will deliver courses on the fleet of yachts designed and built by Clipper China, with its programme led by experienced instructors.

People undergoing Clipper China training course

Chris Rushton, Managing Director of Clipper Ventures, says: “We founded Clipper China to support the growing participation of sailing in China. This new academy will be the first of many in the country.

“It is only fitting that our first academy should be in Qingdao, a city that not only has hosted the Clipper Race eight times, but is also where our current ocean racing fleet of Clipper 70s was built. I have seen first-hand how the city prides itself on being China’s sailing city and it was the obvious choice for us to open our inaugural Clipper China Training Academy. Together with Qingdao Zhenghai Watersports, we will offer expert tuition through a wide range of training courses, for beginners to advance level.

“With almost 40 years of experience in delivering a high standard of sailing instruction in the UK, we will create a clear pathway for China to increase participation in sailing, both inshore and offshore.”

Mr Zhang Peiyong, Chairman of Qingdao Zhenghai Group said: “Thank you Clipper Ventures and Clipper China for your trust. Establishing a Clipper China Sailing Academy in Qingdao is a big event in China’s ocean sailing training industry. It will surely open a new page in the ocean sailing development in China.

“It is very encouraging and exciting and the Qingdao Zhenghai Group and I will do our best to make this project happen as soon as possible. I look forward to welcoming you to Qingdao next spring to cut the ribbon at the academy opening ceremony.”