China's top sailing league held in Weifang
The first stop of the 2018 China Sailing League series was held in Shandong province's Weifang Binhai Economic and Technological Development Zone from Oct 26 to 29.
Nearly 100 top sailing athletes from domestic provinces and regions competed in four disciplines, including men's and women's sailboard, laser class sailboat and laser radial.
Jointly organized by the Chinese Yachting Association (CYA), the Weifang Binhai Economic and Technological Development Zone and Weifang sports bureau, the event started the country's first professional sailing league, which aims to further improve China's competitiveness in the sport ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
"The first ever China Sailing League is a platform for national sailing athletes and potential professional athletes", said Liu Weidong, secretary general of CYA.
"It is the top of the pyramid in China's sailing system. Now it represents China's Olympic level in the event and will represent the highest level in Chinese sailing in the future."
According to Liu, the league, which is shoulder to shoulder with the world's top sailing events, will help boost the professionalization of yachtsmen in China.
"We hope with such attempts and our relentless efforts, Chinese sailing can top the world in the near future."
Shandong and Hainan provinces will be the first two stops for the 2018 season.
The number of stops will increase next year with eight to ten coastal cities and regions hosting the tour.
Athletes will earn points through each race to compete for the final prize.
Foreign athletes are also expected to participate in the league in the future.
In recent years, the Weifang Binhai Economic and Technological Development Zone has been promoting a national fitness program in a bid to promote greater public participation in sports and foster a series of water sports competitions based on its abundant rivers and oceans. China's national kiteboard team training center was set up in the zone in June.
"Hosting the high-profile competition is of great significance to advance the development of Weifang's sports tourism and enhance the city's popularity and urban brand," said an official from the Weifang Binhai Economic and Technological Development Zone.
China Plus contributed to this story.
The first stop of the 2018 China Sailing League is held in Weifang Binhai Economic and Technological Development Zone from Oct 26 to 29. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Nearly 100 of the country's top yachtsmen take part in the 2018 China Sailing League Weifang event. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Athletes compete during the 2018 China Sailing League Weifang event. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]