The Clipper 2017-18 Race will be a historic one, as it includes two Chinese stopovers for the first time. And no one is more excited about that than Vicky Song.

Vicky became the first Chinese woman to circumnavigate the world under sail when she took part in the Clipper 2013-14 Race as a Qingdao Ambassador for China’s City of Sailing. Since completing her circumnavigation, Vicky has gone from strength to strength in the world of sailing, and in 2014, was honoured at the prestigious Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Woman International Summit in Hong Kong.

“The Clipper Race has changed me totally,” says Vicky.

“That year on the boat I learnt so much and I think the most important thing is that it made me so much stronger mentally and it gave me so much more understanding with others.

“It really gave me a different perspective on life. It just makes you think you are capable of doing things. That if I try, give the time, the effort, I will be able to do it.

“So that is the best gift of the race.”

Vicky recently returned to Gosport to see the Clipper 2017-18 Race fleet ahead of Race Start in Liverpool and meet those who will be representing China throughout the 40,000 nautical mile voyage across the world’s oceans. Qingdao Ambassadors will again take part in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, with the final group completing their fourth and final level of training with Skipper Chris Kobusch on Qingdao in Gosport today. Two Ambassadors will race on board Qingdao for each of the eight legs that make up the Clipper Race.

Mirroring the successful Qingdao Ambassador program, for the first time Ambassadors will also represent Sanya on board Sanya Serernity Coast in every leg of the race. The Sanya Ambassadors recently completed their training with their Skipper Wendy Tuck.

icky clearly remembers how it felt preparing to take part in the Clipper Race, and can’t wait to see who will represent Qingdao and Sanya in the opening Atlantic Trade Winds Leg 1 from Liverpool to Punta del Este in Uruguay.

“It’s just so exciting to see there are now two Chinese boats and double the numbers of Chinese crew,” says Vicky.

“And I know that in our day that China really embraces the world and the young people have so much enthusiasm for sailing.

“I would just say to the Ambassadors that you guys are really lucky to be chosen not only as a sailor but as an ambassador of China. That is just a great honour and amazing just a lucky chance. So absolutely enjoy it and let's enlarge the Chinese Clipper Race group!”

The Clipper Race Fleet will start to arrive in Sanya from Wednesday 21 February, and depart for Qingdao on Sunday 4 March. You can find more about the Clipper Race Schedule here.

Feel inspired? You too can visit the Chinese cities of Sanya and Qingdao by taking part in the Asia Pacific Leg 5 and Mighty Pacific Leg 6. Limited spaces are available on both legs and for more information on how to apply, click here.