Another solo circumnavigation in a small sailboat successively completed in an inexpensively used 40class racer. It is the first Chinese to complete the journey and he has done that on the fast lane: 137days 20 hours, about the time that American old guy want to achieve in a much bigger and hugely more expensive sailboat.
48 years old Guo Chuan is a very curious guy. First stange thing about him is that he only set foot on a sailboat at the age of 33. The second thing is that the guy was a space engineer with a master's degree in aircraft control at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and an MBA at Peking University and used to work at commercial satellite launch projects in China. Third and probably more odd thing is that, starting at 33, letting go his lucrative profession, he managed to be the first professional sailor in China. That is not only odd but admirably: A passionate guy for sure.
Of course for doing that he started as an amateur as many that want to become professional ocean racing sailors. He had done in 2006 the Clipper Round the World, more seriously and already as a professional he had made the VOLVO Ocean Race in 2008-2009. More recently (2011) the first Chinese to participate in the Mini Transat and successfully finish it.
Curiously I guess that the fact that China is interested in sailing, particularly offshore sailing and the fact they lack good offshore sailors helped him to become a professional. In France there are hundreds of talented offshore sailors trying to become professionals and that makes things harder.
Anyway, congratulations to him that set a new record for solo circumnavigation on a 40ft sailboat.
I wonder how much time it will take for having a circumnavigation non stop race in 40 class racers? I guess they could make that as an initiation class on the Vendee Globe. Doing that on a 60ft Open class boat is not an adventure anymore but just a great race. They could open the more adventurous side again opening that to 40ft racing boats. can you Imagine what would be a Vendee Globe with 20 Open 60 plus 30 40class racers? The density of the interest and day to day news would increase dramatically.