When the fleet visits Da Nang in February 2016, Nguyen Tran Minh An from Cẩm Lệ District, will make a proud return home as the city’s first ever resident to compete in the Clipper Race.
Minh An, 27, who works as a tug boat driver for Da Nang Port but has no previous ocean racing experience, will join Skipper Wendo and the Da Nang – Viet Nam team for Race 7, the 4,130 mile race from the Whitsundays, Australia.
After completing all four weeks of training at the race’s Australian base in Sydney, Minh An says: “To be selected to take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and represent my home city, Da Nang, is a huge and very exciting honour which I am very grateful for.
“Aside from the race experience itself, I am looking forward to being able to explain about Da Nang to the international crew and supporters and share the Vietnamese culture with my team mates. I am very proud of my city and am really excited that the race is visiting my home. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do and that they will one day come back and visit us again.”
The 2015-16 race is the first time in the Clipper Race’s nineteen-year history that Da Nang has featured as a Team and a Host Port on the race’s global circuit. The city aims to use its Clipper Race sponsorship to benefit from the race’s high profile global platform in order to boost international trade, investment, economic impact and tourism, along with enhanced social, cultural and diplomatic relations for the region.
Mr. Dang Viet Dung, Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, says: “Da Nang City nominated Nguyen Tran Minh An to participate in the Clipper Race on board the Da Nang – Viet Nam boat with the hope of helping other crew members and international friends understand more about Da Nang and Viet Nam.
“After the tough training in Sydney, Australia, he is now actively preparing for the upcoming journey. We wish Nguyen Tran Minh An and other Da Nang – Viet Nam crew members the best in fulfilling their roles and tasks, as well as contributing to the team’s common success.”
Minh An adds: “I feel at home on the water because I’ve spent the last three years working as a tug boat driver, but my experience has been nothing at all like ocean racing. This is all be a very big and new learning opportunity for me.
“I think one of the most challenging parts of the experience will be the weather. If the rain and waves are very harsh and the sea is very bumpy, it will make the sailing more challenging for us. But we can’t predict what we will experience. That is the reality of Mother Nature, and why this is such an unknown and exciting challenge in many ways.”
The Clipper Race fleet is expected to arrive in Da Nang between the 17 – 21 February and will stay in the city until Race 8 to Qingdao, China, departs on 27 February.