CHEN JINHAO (HORACE)
Date of birth: February 15, 1992
Lives: Schenzhen, China
Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin and English
What he said: “I love sailing from the bottom of my heart. I think that’s why I never gave up on it, not even once.”
2011: Crew member onboard 77ft yacht, Jelik
2013: Part of China Team in Extreme Sailing Series, Qingdao
2014-15: 3rd place, Volvo Ocean Race with Dongfeng Race Team
When you are not sailing, what do you like to do? I had a dream to go around the world with the Volvo and I did it. After I finished that race, I also had a dream to make sailing popular in my city so I made a sailing training centre. When I am not sailing with the Volvo, I am always busy teaching. If not sailing, then I like singing and cooking but my main focus and passion is teaching sailing to the kids.
What is your greatest achievement? Volvo Ocean Race, Americas Cup and before that I did windsurfing.
Who inspires you? My teacher – Frank Pong. He is my teacher and was my skipper before I came to Volvo. He is 72 years old now and will always go with us during the race. A very nice guy, modest and taught me self-reliance.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you? I learn and get great advice every single day from everyone at Dongfeng Race Team. Most of the things I do are totally new for me and I want to learn quickly and do the job well. People give me great advice on how to improve or how to do something well so I think the advice I get from the team everyday is the best.
What makes you happy/angry? Angry is when I know I can do something and make silly mistakes.
What do you miss the most when at sea? Except for sleep? But no, the most important is family.
What food do you miss the most when at sea? I miss Chinese food! I also miss a nice cold drink like a Sprite or a Coke.
What do you always take with you when you go sailing? Music and pictures of my family.
If you were not a sailor, what would you be? Ah, a sailing coach of course! If it wasn’t for sailing, I have no idea what I would do! This is my passion.
What makes you passionate about the Volvo Ocean Race? It is exciting as you get to sail around the world with professional sailors. When I finished the first one, I could not wait for the opportunity to do it again as I knew I could learn much more and do more to help the team and represent China.
What makes a strong sailor? It is all about what is in your head. You need to be stronger and it is a long time in the ocean. If sailing was not the thing deep in my heart then I would not have been able to finish the Volvo Ocean Race. If you are tired and exhausted, always check what you can do to help even more. There is always more that you can do…
How would you describe Charles? I am very lucky to have met Charles. He is a very good skipper. From the very first time I met him in Hong Kong to now, he always help you to do better. He shows you how to be the best sailor possible. I am lucky to have him as the skipper, we all are
Charles on Horace: “The best rookie in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. His improvement, energy and motivation is huge. He could be the first Chinese skipper in the Volvo.”
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