It is very easy to claim a first in anything. On April 9th-12th, for the first time in history, a professionally crewed racing catamaran took to the waters of the Huangpu River in Shanghaiduring CIBS 2015 organized by UBM SinoExpo.
Not just anywhere on the river however, but even sailed in broad daylight, and in the evening off Shanghai’siconic Bund.
Shanghai has a history, albeit lapsed, of sailing on her Mother River for as far back as 1873. The Shanghai Yacht Club competed for several trophies including the Shanghai Cup which costs around the same as the America’s Cup, one of the sports‘ four biggest sailing events.
With the efforts and collaboration between Land Rover and part of the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show and OC Sport, the team of professionals did indeed set sail Extreme 40 on the river off Shanghai’s iconic Bund which itself dates back to the beginning of the last century.
Thanks are due to the support from the local Maritime Safety Agency (MSA) and the Shanghai Port Authority (SPA) for helping this landmark event to take place and, who knows, perhaps it could be a pre-cursor for a full blown event of this type in the heart of this Chinese economic powerhouse of a city.
As an estimated number of up to 1m people, local and tourist visitors alike stroll along The Bund on a typical weekend. This is almost certainly the largest number of people in China who have seen a racing sailboat in the flesh. Many of them expected to see a full on racing yacht between the traditional buildings of the west bank and the hyper modern skyscrapers of the east bank.