America's Cup touches China

Concert to be held in Beijing on April fool's day

Thursday March 2nd 2006, Author: Peter Rusch, Location: Australasia
The links between China and the 32nd America's Cup have been strengthened today with the announcement of a 'China sails into the America's Cup' concert, which will be staged in Beijing on 1 April of this year.

The concert was announced during a press conference in Beijing on Thursday. The aim of the concert, presented by the organisers of the 32nd America's Cup and Louis Vuitton, is to celebrate China Team, the first Chinese challenger in the long history of the America's Cup.

"The challenge from China Team adds new excitement and energy to the legend of the America's Cup," said Paco Latorre, the Communications Director of the event organisers.

The concert in April will feature up to 15 Chinese stars, including Mo Wen wei, Wang Li hong, Su you peng, Rong Zu er, Chen Hui lin, Zhao Wei, Yu Quan, Chen Kun, Zhou Xun. They will perform at the Tian Qiao Theatre, with the show broadcast on China Central Television, China's largest TV network.

Bruno Troublé, the initiator of the Louis Vuitton Cup, said the challenge by China Team is crucial for the development of sailing in China. "The scores aren't important at this stage," he said. "What matters is that the crew is developing through competing with and against the best sailors in the world."

The team is recruiting Chinese sailors in collaboration with the Chinese Yachting Association and will build its racing yacht in China, beginning later this summer. China Team lodged its challenge for the 32nd America's Cup in April 2005 and is the first ever challenge from China. The team is a collaboration between a group of Chinese entrepreneurs and the French Le Défi, which competed in the last two Louis Vuitton Cups.

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