‘Jamaica Lightning Bolt’ leaves behind a sailing legacy for the eight million citizens of Qingdao, China

Qingdao, China – The crew of the Jamaica Lightning Bolt, which is participating in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, imprinted the indelible mark of Jamaica on the Chinese city of Qingdao when they presented a gift to the new Olympic Sailing Museum at a formal ceremony held on February 24.

The high profile ceremony, which was attended by city dignitaries, VIPs, Clipper crew and the media, was held at the Olympic Sailing Museum – opened on the one year anniversary of Qingdao hosting the sailing events of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Mr Wang Xiulin, Vice Mayor of Qingdao and the Municipal People’s Government said, “The Olympic Sailing Museum is a valuable legacy from the Olympic Games and the first of its kind around the world. It encapsulates the splendid history of Qingdao’s involvement with the Olympic Games over the course of a century and it relives the exciting moments of ‘Sail with Heart, Sail to Success’ the city’s efforts from before and during the Olympic Games.

“The Donation Ceremony of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is further witness to the fulfilment of the museum’s historic mission which will surely arouse great enthusiasm in the sport of sailing amongst our citizens.”

The skippers and representatives from the international teams competing in Clipper 09-10 were then invited on stage to make their donations to the city. Jamaica’s Ambassador to China, Courtenay Rattray joined skipper, Pete Stirling, on stage to make their donation. From the skipper of the team that scored a very respectable second place on the race to Qingdao, a gift was made of a framed picture of his yacht and a team shirt.

Ambassador Rattray donated a book about the island of Jamaica, its people, history and culture. In presenting a copy of the book “Jamaica Absolutely” to the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Museum, Ambassador Rattray said: “It is a gift of friendship from the people of Jamaica. We can’t claim to have had as long and distinguished sailing history as some countries but we do know how to go fast and I’m delighted to be invited here today and to be associated with this wonderful race.”

Jamaica Lighting Bolt at the start of race 7 from Qingdao to San Francisco.
Photo Credit: Clipper Ventures PLC

Jamaica is home to the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, who claimed Gold in the 100m and 200m sprints at the Beijing Olympics and is the World Record holder over both distances, Usain Bolt. The sprinter is the inspiration behind the name of Jamaica’s entry in the Clipper Race and, acknowledging the crew’s best result so far and the fourth podium position of their Clipper 09-10 campaign, he sent a message of support to his team.

“Congratulations on your recent second place finish in Race 6. Your team efforts are commendable and set you up for a great finish when you arrive in Jamaica. The Jamaica Lightning Bolt crew is making me and every Jamaican proud. As the fastest man on earth I am very honoured to share my name with Jamaica’s Clipper and look forward to hearing of your next race result.”

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