He's the first Chinaman to sail solo round the world

Zhai Mo, the first Chinese to attempt a solo sailboat voyage around the world, has completed his ambitious tour after sailing 35,000 nautical miles over two years, the Beijing News reported.

Locals warmly welcomed him when he arrived at Rizhao Port in east China’s Shandong Province on Sunday morning. Zhai Mo, in his 40s, started his world voyage from Rizhao on New Year’s Day in 2007.

His 12-meter-long by 3.85-meter-wide boat is named after the port, which means sunshine in Chinese. During his journey, Zhai visited more than 40 countries around the world. He endured many unexpected difficulties and even life-threatening tests, like stormy seas, hydraulic fluid leaks and fever.

Before becoming an amateur sailor, Zhai Mo was an impressionistic and abstract painter. He used to live in New Zealand, where he began sailing. After sailing around New Zealand from February 2000 to August 2001, one month later he took his yacht out onto the Pacific Ocean again.

Zhai’s next goal was to compete in the Vendee Globe. “No one from Asia has ever competed in Vendee Globe,” Zhai said. “The race is regarded as the test of human endurance. I must have a try.”