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Clipper race heading for Qingdao

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet has set sail from Keppel Bay, Singapore, and is due to arrive in Qingdao, Shandong province, between Feb 19-22.

The 2,600-mile event will take the sailors through weather ranging from light winds and searing heat to strong headwinds and counter currents which produce extremely choppy seas and bone-numbingly cold conditions.

Various activities have been organized to celebrate the arrival of the yachts during their time in the coastal city Qingdao, the host city for the Beijing Olympics sailing competition, as their appearance coincides with Lunar New Year, the most popular Chinese festival.

All the boats, including a local one called "The Qingdao", will set sail again on March 2 for San Francisco, US.

When the starting gun went off for the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race on Sept 13, the fleet of 10 sleek, stripped-down 68-foot yachts embarked on a full circumnavigation of the globe, which is expected to last 10 months and cover 35,000 nautical miles.

Among those aboard the vessels are taxi drivers, engineers, nurses, bankers, CEOs, florists and housewives.

The eight Chinese crew on "The Qingdao" boat are also from various walks of life.

Bidding to develop into a world-famous city for yachting, Qingdao was also the stopover of the Clipper race in 2006 and 2008 and hosted the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race last year.

Date:2010-2-5 8:00:00     
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