Whilst working in China, Christian observed how difficult it was for Chinese and Westerners to do business together due to a lack of trust, so he decided to create the “ultimate Sino-Western Joint Venture” where the downside was loss of life instead of bankruptcy. He wanted to prove the point that if both sides are willing to trust and cooperate then anything is possible!

That was how the idea for the Sino-Viking Trans-Atlantic Rowing Joint Venture was born: Sign up for the 2001 double handled Trans-Atlantic rowing race, build an ocean rowing boat in China, find a Mainland Chinese rowing partner, use the event to raise money for charity to send Chinese students overseas to study at a UWC, finish top 10 in the race and be friends on arrival. Easy-peasy! Well, not quite.

Only 95 people had rowed across an ocean and 6 had died trying. Still now, in 2020, more people have climbed Mt. Everest than rowed across an ocean.

Christian and Sun Haibin leaving Tenerife for their unsupported 5,000km Trans-Atlantic row
Possibly amplified by the fact that neither Christian nor his rowing partner knew how to row, the project was met with a lot of positive encouragement from Mainland Chinese and foreigners alike, such as:
  • “You can’t build a rowing boat in China – it’ll sink before you get out of sight of land!”
  • “You’ll never find a Chinese who can do that!”
  • “You won’t be able to get along. You’ll fight and give up!”
  • “How will you get the Chinese rower out of the country?”
  • “Raise money for charity! In China? You’re kidding, right”?!
  • “You’ll die!”

Given these was the established truths, then mental barriers could really be shattered, should Christian manage to pull it off, and if not, well, then he would not be around to have to face the nay-sayers.

Achievements

A lot of trials and tribulations later, not to mention boils on their butts, Christian and his Mainland Chinese rowing partner Sun Haibin succeeded in rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. The pair finished 8th in a fleet of 36 race entries, taking 56 days to complete the trans-Atlantic voyage, relying only on muscle power and having received no outside assistance.

Arriving in Barbados 56 days later and still friends. The Chinese text between the two 合作可以更多 means "Together we achieve more"

The fact that Christian and Sun Haibin are still friend today after having been stuck together, alone and unsupported, under extreme circumstances on a seven-meter long rowing boat for 56 days in the middle of an ocean demonstrates that cross-cultural cooperation is indeed possible as long as both sides are willing to trust and cooperate.

Christian and Sun Haibin are now working on a Trans-Pacific nautical adventure: Retracing Chinese visits to America pre-Columbus.

Whilst working in China, Christian observed how difficult it was for Chinese and Westerners to do business together due to a lack of trust, so he decided to create the “ultimate Sino-Western Joint Venture” where the downside was loss of life instead of bankruptcy. He wanted to prove the point that if both sides are willing to trust and cooperate then anything is possible!

That was how the idea for the Sino-Viking Trans-Atlantic Rowing Joint Venture was born: Sign up for the 2001 double handled Trans-Atlantic rowing race, build an ocean rowing boat in China, find a Mainland Chinese rowing partner, use the event to raise money for charity to send Chinese students overseas to study at a UWC, finish top 10 in the race and be friends on arrival. Easy-peasy! Well, not quite.

Christian and Sun Haibin leaving Tenerife for their unsupported 5,000km Trans-Atlantic row

Only 95 people had rowed across an ocean and 6 had died trying. Still now, in 2020, more people have climbed Mt. Everest than rowed across an ocean.

Possibly amplified by the fact that neither Christian nor his rowing partner knew how to row, the project was met with a lot of positive encouragement from Mainland Chinese and foreigners alike, such as:

  • “You can’t build a rowing boat in China – it’ll sink before you get out of sight of land!”
  • “You’ll never find a Chinese who can do that!”
  • “You won’t be able to get along. You’ll fight and give up!”
  • “How will you get the Chinese rower out of the country?”
  • “Raise money for charity! In China? You’re kidding, right”?!
  • “You’ll die!”

Given these was the established truths, then mental barriers could really be shattered, should Christian manage to pull it off, and if not, well, then he would not be around to have to face the nay-sayers.

Achievements

A lot of trials and tribulations later, not to mention boils on their butts, Christian and his Mainland Chinese rowing partner Sun Haibin succeeded in rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. The pair finished 8th in a fleet of 36 race entries, taking 56 days to complete the trans-Atlantic voyage, relying only on muscle power and having received no outside assistance.

Arriving in Barbados 56 days later and still friends. The Chinese text between the two 合作可以更多 means "Together we achieve more"

The fact that Christian and Sun Haibin are still friend today after having been stuck together, alone and unsupported, under extreme circumstances on a seven-meter long rowing boat for 56 days in the middle of an ocean demonstrates that cross-cultural cooperation is indeed possible as long as both sides are willing to trust and cooperate.

Christian and Sun Haibin are now working on a Trans-Pacific nautical adventure: Retracing Chinese visits to America pre-Columbus.