Vehicle company signs on to back Chinese Ocean Race entry

Chinese automotive firm Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle has announced it is to work with sports marketing and events company OC Sport to launch a Chinese team in the 2014-15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race international sailing event.

Under the terms of the deal, the team will be known as Team Dongfeng and will feature a number of Chinese in the final race crew and support team.

While Dongfeng will serve as title partner, OC Sport will manage the team’s campaign and seek to gain the support of other commercial sponsors.

Team Dongfeng is the third campaign to announce its participation in the 12th edition of the Ocean Race, which begins on October 4, 2014 in Alicante, Spain and concludes in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 27, 2015.

The new team will become the third Chinese entry in the race’s 40-year history, with the idea behind Team Dongfeng’s involvement to boost the profile of sailing in China.  

“This is very clearly the biggest challenge we have – to condense many years of experience of the average Volvo Ocean Race crew into just 10 months,” team director Bruno Dubois said.

“But equally this process is at the heart of the project; we want to leave a real legacy that will both motivate the Chinese to want to embrace the sport of sailing, and be able to develop the talent so that, ultimately, a future campaign could be 100 per cent Chinese.”