LONDON, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's port city Qingdao on Wednesday was confirmed as the third stop of the 2014 Stadium Racing, the Extreme Sailing Series.
Qingdao, which hosted the sailing event at the 2008 Olympic Games, will welcome nine teams representing seven countries and regions from May 1 to 4.
Britain's Olympic legend Ben Ainslie and Volvo Ocean Race winner Franck Cammas will skipper their teams in the race competing for the Extreme Sailing Series trophy.
Extreme Sailing Series organizers OC Sport confirmed details of their most ambitious Series to date at the London Boat Show. The world tour will celebrate its eighth year on the international sailing calendar with eight iconic host venues spanning three continents.
Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC Sport, said: "2014 is the eighth year of this the original Stadium Racing circuit, and significantly our fourth as a world tour. China is a rising power in sailing and we all know that they have a great potential. With Qingdao becoming an important stop of this race, we are confident that there will be Chinese sailors competing in the event in the near future."
For the first time, Singapore will host the curtain raiser to the 2014 Series, with the first starting gun on 20th February.
A brand new venue for 2014 is St Petersburg, Russia, which will host the race on 26-29 June.
The race will finish in Sydney on December 11-14.
Ainslie, who last competed in the race in 2011, will field his own team, J.P. Morgan BAR. And the man who won four Olympic gold medals said, "I remember that it is crazy racing. Anyone who has seen the Series - or taken part in it - will tell you that the style of the courses, the speed of the boats and the number of boats on any side of the course at one time, means there is a lot of action and a lot of potential for crashes and incidents. So it makes for exciting racing and you really have to be on your toes."
Reigning champion Leigh McMillan will be back at the helm of The Wave, Muscat and he will not be giving up his crown without a serious fight, in what could be a hat-trick year in 2014 for the British Olympian.
"I am thrilled and excited to be back in 2014 and the treble would be something I would be very proud to achieve," he said. "We are expecting 2014 to be quite different this year. The fleet is going to be bigger and more competitive. It's an exciting prospect."