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Chinese adventurer sets off on solo world sail

A Chinese sailor on Sunday set out for a solo and non-stop 21,600 nautical miles around-the-world sail to be completed in about 130 days.



Beijing: A Chinese sailor on Sunday set out for a solo and non-stop 21,600 nautical miles around-the-world sail to be completed in about 130 days.

47-year-old Guo Chuan, the first Chinese sailor to have taken part in the Clipper Round the World (2006) and the first Chinese to complete the Volvo Ocean Race (2008-2009), set out from Qingdao in a small Class 40 boat "Qingdao", named after his hometown.

After departing from China, Guo will pilot his yacht across the Pacific Ocean to Cape Horn in Chile, sail into the Atlantic Ocean, then get into the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa before crossing the islands of Indonesia to return to the starting point in Qingdao.

"I have been preparing for this for about three years. It has been step by step," said Guo. "Learning the skills, finding the right boat, preparing the boat and training with a coach," he told state-run Xinhua news agency.

Guo will have to eat artificial dehydrated food during the voyage, and use a desalination unit to get drinking water.

Though he is most concerned about the reliability of his vessel over the next four months.
"It`s hard to say whether the boat, the rope or the sail will go wrong in the middle of the journey," Guo said.

"Glitches are inevitable. But, hopefully, big problems won`t occur."

A professional sailor, Guo already has a number of firsts to his name - the first Chinese to participate in the Mini Transat sailing event, successfully sailing across the Atlantic Ocean single-handed in a mini yacht (6.5-meter) and the first Chinese to cross the English Channel solo.

PTI

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