Volvo Race sets sail for China

SINGAPORE — Race leader Ericsson 4 and the other seven contenders for the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday left Singapore on the tough passage to the Chinese port of Qingdao, which they are expected to reach at the end of the month.

Ericsson 4, hoping to consolidate its lead in the race, was in first position as it headed out of the Singapore Strait with PUMA Ocean Racing trailing behind and Green Dragon clinging on to third spot.

The fourth leg of the race to Qingdao is possibly the toughest in terms of weather conditions with the eight crews having to contend with potentially tricky winds and sea currents on their passage across the South China Sea.

The eight crews left Singapore shortly after 0500 GMT and are expected to arrive at Qingdao around January 30.

The race is one of the most arduous in yachting and will end in St Petersburg, Russia, in June after nine months negotiating 10 stages over 37,000 nautical miles at sea.


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