After a 15 year history the China Club Challenge Match (CCCM), during which time it has risen to be the ‘must do’ regatta for Corinthian sailors in China and for the past 3 years the largest one design keelboat fleet in Asia the CCCM decided to expand its reach to include youth sailors with the Inaugural China Club Challenge Match Youth Division.
A new group of sailors and with the selection of Shenzhen a new venue. This entailed a significant investment of time, effort and funds hours studying charts and even physically getting out on the water and drew on the partnership of China Sports Industry Group (CSIG) and China Sports and Communications International (CSCI). It took aver 6 months to arrange the required permissions for the venue off Shekou in downtown Shenzhen and for the event to be approved. Such was the quality of the materials presented that the local Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) stated that this should indeed be the acceptable standard for all such events and forwarded the materials to Beijing.
The event itself was a huge success both for the youngsters competing, the public visibility of sailing and was supported by a community of stall holders along the waterfront of Shekou.
China Cup, a sports company which normally runs a regatta off to the East of Shenzhen has been desperate to run a similar regatta for many months but had been unable to produce an application of sufficient quality, managed to ‘obtain’ copies of the CCCM submissions and simply change the date and the type of boat used. So the second ‘youth regatta’ goes ahead just 3 weeks after the ground breaking event. Exactly the same targeted sailors – the youth. Exactly the same waters – right off Shenzhen Bay Marina.
It was unlikely the authorities could say no given the submission was an almost carbon copy of what they had already approved.
Initially those who had done the hard work, CCCM, CSIG and CSCI were initially disappointed that someone felt it necessary to copy their work without even asking and ultimately shortcutting the roll out of “How to obtain a permit for a regatta” to the wider sailing community.
However, as the three organizations have the bigger picture of promoting sailing as their long term aim, the fact that another group of youngsters had the opportunity to have competitive fun on the water and the wider public had another chance to see sailing in the heart of the City of Shenzhen has many plus points.
The partners would like to thank China Cup for inadvertently assisting them in their long term and higher goal of bringing the sport of sailing and water leisure activities in general to a wider audience.
At the same time the short lead time to gain a permit for their event has proven that the formula that CCCM, CSIG and CSCI developed enables those of lesser experience or ability to gain permission to run an event on the water. – SS.