“Free China” junk returns to Taiwan

(KTSF by Lynne Ku)
In 1955, there were six Chinese young men who knew nothing about sailing, yet managed to sail an old junk called ” Free China” all the way from Taiwan to San Francisco. Paul Chow, then a young man in Taiwan, read in the newspaper about a yacht race to be held in Rhode Island. At that time, tensions between Taiwan and Mainland China ran high, so traveling abroad was difficult. This race inspired Chow to flee by boat.  Chow had neither a boat nor sailing experience, but he didn’t care. After signing up for the yacht race in Rhode Island, he started to recruit team members. Marco Chung, Reno Chen, Benny Hsu, Loo-Chi Hu and Calvin Mehlert then joined him for the adventure.

Fifty-seven years later, the old junk “Free China” is returning to Taiwan on Monday. It will be displayed in the Museum of National Marine Science and Technology and will be part of history.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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