BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Volvo Ocean Race will return to Sanya's sparkling Serenity Marina in 2014-15, with the Chinese holiday destination once again confirming on the race route after making a great impression on its debut in 2011-12.
Thursday's announcement means sailing's premier round-the-world race will be visiting China for the third edition in succession.
Sanya, a tourism capital in Hainan province boasting year-round sunshine, will be the fourth of 10 Host Ports along the route and as in the 11th edition in 2011-12, the stopover will come between Abu Dhabi and Auckland.
Sanya made a striking debut as a Host Port in the 2011-12 Race, with hundreds of thousands of visitors getting their first taste of the Race amid the tropical conditions of the island.
"In many ways Sanya proved to be the best kept secret in sailing," said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad. "The first-rate facilities, the perfect sailing conditions and the warmth of the people added up to an eye-opening and massively successful stop and I'm looking forward to an even better experience in 2014-15."
China has become a fixture on the Race calendar after a stop in Qingdao in 2008-09 and Sanya in 2011-12.
"With two successful stops in China now behind us, it's hard to imagine a route without it," Frostad said.
Dong Yongquan, Deputy General Secretary of Sanya Municipal Government and Sanya Stop-over Race Manager said, "we are very pleased that Sanya can continue to be the unique stop-over of Volvo Ocean Race in China. Sanya has certified that it has become a sailing capital and one of the most favorite sailing cities in China and the world. In the next two years, we will integrate resources and ensure the race preparation go smoothly. We hope that we can keep Volvo Ocean Race as an important project to build Sanya into an international tourist island with its legacy of global influence, cultural and branding value."
The 12th edition of an event that began in 1973 will take the teams from the Race's home in Alicante, Spain to Recife on the northeast coast of Brazil. From there, the boats will head into the Southern Ocean on their way to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and along a now familiar path to Sanya in China, Auckland in New Zealand and around Cape Horn to Itajai in the south of Brazil.
The next stop will be Newport, Rhode Island before a transatlantic crossing to Lisbon. The Race will finish in Gothenburg, Sweden.