Guo Chuan, 48, China’s first professional sailor, crossed the equator on March 18, after 118 days at sea during his effort to be the first nonstop, solo Chinese circumnavigator. Chuan began his voyage on Nov. 18, 2012, from Qingdao and hopes to complete the circle by April 1, 2013.
Chuan began sailing at 33 years old with a friend in Hong Kong. In 2004, he skippered the yacht Qingdao, an Akilaria Class 40 designed by Mark Lombard, to Shimonoseki, Japan, and has been sailing the boat professionally ever since.
A sailor of many firsts, in 2006 he was the first Chinese sailor to participate in the Clipper Round the World Race. He went on to become the first Chinese sailor to complete the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 as well as the Mini Transat Atlantic Ocean single-handed race aboard a 21-foot yacht in 2011. He is also a Peace and Sport Ambassador for L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport, a neutral international initiative created in 2007. The organization is based in Monaco, under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. According to the organzation’s website, Peace and Sport puts sport and its structuring values at the heart of development projects within communities in crisis around the world.