The inaugural Belt & Road Regatta Beihai got underway in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region city on Friday.

The competition is the First Sailing event named after the Belt & Road Initiative and finished the opening stage contest in Phuket, Thailand last weekend.

Beihai race, the only regatta station within Chinese borders, attracted over 400 athletes from 20 countries and regions including France, the Great Britain, the United States as well as ASEAN countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to participate.

Teams Beihai and Old Boys represented China in the Beihai competition. As of Saturday morning American team Sailing In led the race.

Meantime Belt & Road Regatta Beihai also introduced family races to promote public participation in the sport.

Chinese Yachting Association deputy secretary Su Ke said the association is aiming to promote the regatta into a globally renowned sailing event and boost the sport development in Guangxi.

The Belt & Road Regatta next goes to Singapore and Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia in the following two stages.