In the 2008-09 edition, he sailed around the world as the Onboard Reporter for Irish-Chinese entry, Green Dragon – capturing the hearts of a nation, and inspiring a generation of Chinese sailors to head offshore themselves.
For the man from Qingdao, who only began sailing in his thirties, it was his first real taste of professional offshore sailing and he was clearly hooked, as he went on to build a record-breaking career in the sport, becoming one of China’s most famous sailors.
“Guo was a real pioneer in Chinese sailing and in this race in particular,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner. “His presence in the Volvo Ocean Race engaged a whole new audience of fans, and created a pathway for other Chinese sailors to compete at the top level of the sport.
“He began as an Onboard Reporter, and went on to take on his own big challenges across various oceans of the world.”
Turner continued: “As an experienced sailor, Guo had plenty of miles under his belt and he would have known what he was trying to do was a fairly high-risk part of the sport – sailing single-handed on a big multihull, and in record-breaking mode.
“We are all very saddened by the news that the search has been suspended, and our thoughts are with Guo’s family and friends at this time.”
In 2013, Guo became the first Chinese man to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe, and, two years later, in 2015, he skippered a crew that set a world record with a 13-day sail across the treacherous Northern Passage in the Arctic Ocean from Murmansk, Russia, to the Bering Strait.
Guo was attempting to break the solo trans-Pacific record from San Francisco to Shanghai when he lost contact with his shore team.