Hero's welcome for record-breaking solo sailor

A Chinese sailor made history this morning by completing an ambitious solo non-stop circumnavigation in 137 days.

Guo

Chuan, 47, was the first Chinese crew member to compete in the Clipper Round

the World Yacht Race in 2005/06.

Now a

professional sailor, he has completed a 21,600

mile solo non-stop circumnavigation in a class 40 boat named ‘Qingdao’

after his hometown.

He finished his

challenge in 137 days, 20 hours, one minute and 57

seconds as he piloted Qingdao to the Olympic Sailing Centre.

The completion of the

global voyage made him the first Chinese sailor to succeed in

sailing single-handed and non-stop around the world.


Soon after Guo crossed the finishing line, he lit the fireworks onboard

and waved to the thousands of people cheering for him on boats and on

the land.

As he neared the pontoon, Guo jumped into the sea

and swam to his wife and two sons, who had been waiting here for Yacht

Qingdao’s arrival for a couple of hours.

Guo’s wife Xiao Li said: ‘In comparison with 137 days, I

find the last few hours particularly hard to withstand.’

Amid crowds of people and media, Guo took centre stage and spoke in joy, excitement and tears.


He said: ‘I’m so on the top of the world. It’s such an unbelievable moment.

‘137

days ago, I wouldn’t have imagined I could have a moment like this. It

is a moment that could only happen in a dream.

‘I want to show

my most profound gratitude to my family, my sponsors and my support

team.

‘I’d also like to thank the winds that came all the way with me,

for their help to propel the boat back home but not for the troubles

they made.’

Since

the 48-year-old sailor left his hometown Qingdao on November 18, 2012,

he has rounded Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope, crossed the equator

twice, and sailed across the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the

Indian Ocean in a row.

Guo sailed across the Sund Strait of

Indonesia before he moved on to the South China Sea and returned to

Qingdao eventually.

The adventurer’s global route passed

through the most dangerous waters on the planet and exceeds a distance

of 21,600 miles, the benchmark that validates a circumnavigation in

accordance with the rules of the World Sailing Speed Record Council

(WSSRC), an official governing body of sailing records under the

International Sailing Federation.

The result of Guo Chuan’s

round the world trip will be delivered to WSSRC for confirmation. Should

it be approved, the announcement will be made in the middle of April

and Guo will be honored as the record holder of Class 40

circumnavigation.

The Clipper Race, the world’s

longest yacht race at 40,000 miles, was founded by Sir Robin with the

vision of enabling ordinary people from all walks of life to experience

the challenge of ocean racing.

The next edition of the race, which

starts this August, will feature a new fleet of matched ocean racers,

the Clipper 70.

Click here to view more pictures of the arrival on Guo Chuan’s Facebook page.