Receiving warm congratulations from Sir Robin Knox Johnston as he finished, 2005/2006 Clipper Race veteran Guo Chuan did what he set out to do: become the first Chinese sailor to sail solo, nonstop around the world.
From the press release: Chinese sailor Guo Chuan finished his circumnavigation challenge in 137 days, 20 hours, 1 minute and 57 seconds as he piloted his Class 40 boat to the Olympic Sailing Center in east China’s Qingdao on the morning of April 5. The completion of the global voyage made him the first Chinese sailor that succeeded in sailing single-handed and non-stop around the world.
Soon after Guo crossed the finish line, he lit the fireworks onboard and waved hands to thousands of people cheering for him on boats and on the land. Only a few meters shy of 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. “In comparison with 137 days, I find the last few hours particularly hard to withstand”, said Xiao Li, Guo’s wife.
Amid crowds of people and media, Guo took the central stage and spoke in joy, excitement and tears.
“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”, Guo said in his speech to the cheerful crowd.
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 Chuan 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.