Saturday 24 January 2009

VOR: Ericsson Racing Team Preparing for Strong Winds and Big Waves

Dawn on board Ericsson 3. Image copyright Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Victoria Low

As night falls on the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in the South China Sea, the conditions are beginning to deteriorate as well.

"Things are starting to get lumpy," said New Zealander David Endean, pitman aboard Ericsson International. "We've got 23 to 25 knots and we've reduced sail area with a reef and smaller headsail. We're starting to slam harder because there's a bit of current against the wind, chopping up a two-meter swell."

Dave Endean and Stu Bannatyne aboard Ericsson 4. Image copyright Guy Salter/Ericsson Racing Team/Volvo Ocean Race.

The fleet is bound for the Leg 4 finish port of Qingdao, China, some 1,200 nautical miles away. The Ericsson Racing Team yachts and competitors were west of the Philippines islands Hermana Mayor and Hermana Menor and approaching Luzon Strait, the body of water separating Taiwan and the Philippines.

After a week of ups and downs, which at times saw Ericsson Nordic leading and Ericsson International last, today the team's two yachts were in the middle of the pack. Magnus Olsson's Ericsson Nordic was placed fifth, 37 nautical miles off the lead, and Torben Grael's Ericsson International sixth, 42 miles back.

Ericsson 4 bowman, Ryan Godfrey, goes aloft to patch holes in the genoa. Image copyright Guy Salter/Ericsson Racing Team/Volvo Ocean Race.

Ericsson International, the overall race leader, was dropped to the back of the standings earlier in the week when it sailed into the middle of a squall and out of wind pressure. At one point the blue yacht was sailing backwards while boats less than two miles either side sailed away.

Ericsson Nordic's bid for the fleet lead was scuttled when it decided to abort navigating through Dangerous Grounds, a poorly charted area of shoals and atolls. Olsson and mates lately have been struggling with their boatspeed, which has led them to question everything they're doing.

"We have lost a lot of miles from our decision to go outside the Dangerous Grounds, and we are struggling to get back," said Sweden's Gustav Morin, the onboard media crewman. "At one stage today we even felt we were really slow and we were ripping our hair out, trimming and trimming, trying to figure out what we could do better."

Ericsson Nordic crewmembers have also suffered some injuries. Just hours into the leg that started last Sunday in Singapore, navigator Aksel Magdahl bruised his knee when he was swept into the port-side daggerboard while helping on the bow with a sail change.

Yesterday Olsson, the interim skipper, got one of his thumbs caught in the running backstay winch as the heavily loaded line was being eased. The mishap crushed the top of his thumbnail and it had to be removed.

A log floats past Ericsson 3, one of the many hazardous items of debris the fleet has to deal with, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Image copyright Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race.

Upon departing Singapore the sailors all said that Luzon Strait was going to be the worst part of the leg. With a strong northerly wind blowing against a north-flowing current of 2 or 3 knots, the seas can get steep and the temperatures can dip to freezing. It has the sailors on alert.

"Tomorrow night is when it's supposed to come to a head," Endean said. "We're expecting at least 35 knots and there's a rumour of maybe six-metre waves. We don't know how much we'll see, but we're preparing for the worst and planning for the worst. We just have to make sure we get the boat through it so we can keep pushing on afterwards."

(Jan. 23, 2009, 1309 GMT)
1. Telefónica Black, 1,229 nautical miles to finish
2. Puma, +5 NM
3. Telefónica Blue, +15 NM
4. Delta Lloyd, +31 NM
5. Ericsson 3, +37 NM
6. Ericsson 4, +42 NM
7. Green Dragon, +46 NM

Ericsson Racing Team

Volvo Ocean Race

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLUE LEG FOUR DAY 6 QFB: received 23.01.09 1426 GMT

Pepe Ribes and Iker Martinez during a sail change onboard Telefonica Blue, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Simon Fisher

A straightforward day today. It started with us sailing upwind (much the same as yesterday in fact). The breeze then started to build, then it got dark and then it got windy. We are now crashing upwind in 25-30 knots of breeze. The boat is launching off waves and lurching around as it powers upwind, making it rather difficult to type! If you could see how long it has taken me to write this much and then correct all the mistakes you would see what I am getting at... It is a bit like trying to type on your computer whilst in a 4x4 driving off road!

From here on in, the next 24 hours are going to be about good seamanship as much as good tactics as the wind builds more and more. It is going to be all- important to keep our boat in one piece. We have already had a little bit of drama when a lashing on the jib halyard broke. This meant Daryl Wislang/NZL had to go up the rig to retrieve the halyard, which proved to be no mean feat in the building seaway.

Xabier Fernandez trimming as a storm approaches Telefonica Blue, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Image copyright Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/Volvo Ocean Race.

Our problems though were swiftly resolved and we were back underway with minimal losses to our rivals. It proved a good reminder, though, of how easily things can break and that we need to look after our boat over the next couple of days.

I think I will leave it that today, now time for some sleep!

Volvo Ocean Race

VOR: TELEFÓNICA BLACK LEG FOUR DAY 5 QFB: received 22.01.09 1601 GMT

Telefonica Black repair their J2 sail, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Image copyright Mikel Pasabant/Telefonica Black/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Mikel Pasabant

It has been a very busy day today, and it has not ended yet. The guys are inside the bow of the ‘Demonio’, still repairing a ripped J2, so imagine the difficulties on such a bumpy road! But they are doing a great job.

Apart from that, we have been dealing with continuous wind changes in direction and speed, so the work on deck has been extenuating. We have lost the lead, but the final approach to the waypoint next to Manila promises to be really tight for the leading pack. Right now, we are involved in another of the countless tacks in this upwind leg. Fighting hard and with spirits high as always in the TELEFÓNICA NEGRO!

Anecdote: bad luck for Javi (Javier de la Plaza/ESP) tonight, as his shin encountered a new item on deck with the result of some pain and a couple of filthy words! And not to forget the ‘attack of the flying fish’, much bigger than any seen before in other seas.

So, with our Roger, as any navigator in the world would, enjoying sailing in this part of the world with less-than-reliable charts, we will see what tomorrow brings.

Volvo Ocean Race

VOR: DELTA LLOYD LEG FOUR DAY 6 QFB: received 23.01.09 1151 GMT

Delta Lloyd is still going upwind in a northerly direction towards the waypoint South Rock. Navigator Frits Koek is doing a great job navigating Delta Lloyd through Dangerous Ground, West of the Philippines. Image copyright Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Frits Koek

Just five hours after Green Dragon broke her forestay; our forestay cover was damaged during a headsail peel. The crew was able to cut loose part of the cover and we had to drop the foresail to do that. This cost us valuable time in this part of the leg.

Around noon we passed the auxiliary waypoint ‘South Rock’, around 185 miles west of Manila (Philippines) and now we are heading for the Philippine coast to do another tack. Winds have picked up some strength and we’re now in some 20 knots NNE’ly breeze for the next day or so.

At the mark, we had worked our position up to the fourth place. Not too bad for the moment. From there on, the waves started growing. We are aiming for the lower waves near the shore. Being aware of what is to come, we do not want to waste too much energy here.

Early in the evening, we were already banging against two to three metre waves and had to ease the pressure a bit by changing to the J4 and one reef in the main. As a relative rooky, I have deep respect for the guys on deck who fix this.

Good night from a bouncing DLYD.

Volvo Ocean Race

VOR: Green Dragon's forestay breaks

Green Dragon's skipper, Ian Walker, with the broken forestay. Ian Walker and his crew were in fourth place and sailing in 17 knots of breeze upwind and a short, choppy sea, when the boat suffered a broken forestay. Image copyright Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Ian Walker

As we start day six on our 2500-mile slog to Qingdao, I have very mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am gutted that all our good work of the last few days has been undone by the breakage of our headstay and we are slowly slipping back from the fourth place we comfortably held.

On the other hand, I am relieved to still have our mast intact and to still be racing, albeit slightly wounded. When the headstay breaks, the only thing stopping the mast from falling down is the strength of the headsail cloth until the crew can secure a halyard forward to the bow. The crew's quick reactions in unloading the sails and securing a safety halyard saved us from this potential eventuality. For now, we should be grateful we are not heading to Manila under engine.

Back to the race and Delta Lloyd has slipped past us and right now we can clearly see Ericsson 4, who would have crossed behind us a few hours ago but instead chose to tack to leeward. Maybe they couldn't bring themselves to sail behind us! In two hours since, they have pulled 15 degrees of bearing over us so soon they will be able to tack and cross us.

We are sailing along OK, but our only viable headsail is now the code 4, which sets on an innerstay. In the medium winds we have had for the last 24 hours this sail is too small. We have managed to make a temporary headstay to secure the mast out of a spare runner cable that we carry onboard but this is not strong enough to fly a headsail from. The good news is that the wind will soon be building to over 20 knots and then the code 4 will come into its range and we should be more competitive.

The result of this leg could still depend on how everybody fares in the strong winds forecast. As always, these do not look as bad as previously thought but still I fully expect up to 40 knots on the nose and 4-5 metre seas. That will be enough to test each and every boat out here.

One thing the Green Dragon crew has proven, over and over again, is that we never give up and we have not given up on a good result in this leg yet. Not only do we have a real test of heavy weather seamanship ahead, but we also have some large tactical options including a major decision about which side of Taiwan to sail. This could be a real make or break decision for every skipper and navigator and one Ian Moore and I have been mulling over all night.

For now we are trying to eat as much as we can, preparing all our equipment and 'battening down the hatches' for a bruising two days. Just existing on a Volvo 70 upwind in gale or even storm force winds will be hard enough.

Volvo Ocean Race

Images of BMW ORACLE Racing training with Emirates Team New Zealand on the Waitemata by Gilles Martin-Raget

22nd January 2009, Auckland (NZL): Louis Vuitton Pacific Series - BMW ORACLE Racing preparing USA 87 and USA 98 with Emirates Team New Zealand. All images below are copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing. All Rights Reserved.


BMW ORACLE Racing Prepares for Louis Vuitton Pacific Series

Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, Auckland: BMW ORACLE Racing preparing USA 87 and USA 98 with Emirates Team New Zealand. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

by Jane Eagleson

BMW ORACLE Racing, one of 10 world-class racing teams competing here at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series (LVPS) starting in a week's time, has been preparing the boats on the Waitemata Harbour in what promises to be a close and exciting world-class competition.

"It's been great to be back on the water in New Zealand," said Russell Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing skipper. "Full marks to Emirates Team New Zealand and Louis Vuitton for organizing this regatta. It's an imaginative and cost-effective way to get a lot of teams racing and the format will place a premium on sailing skills."

Four America's Cup Class (ACC) yachts - Team New Zealand's NZL 84 and 92 and BMW ORACLE Racing's USA 87 and 98 - have been simplified for the LVPS, which will use a match racing format as in the America's Cup.

BMW ORACLE Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand tuned-up this week to get the boats race-ready for the competition. This week was the first time BMW ORACLE Racing's America's Cup Class (ACC) yachts were back in action since the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup. The two teams swapped boats throughout the week to simulate the regatta format where the 10 teams will rotate through the four Cup boats.

After two days of testing in blustery conditions in the 20-plus knots, the two teams lined up Wednesday and Thursday in a moderate 10-12 knots. The race course area, situated between North Head and the volcanic island of Rangitoto, the Waitemata Harbour provides shifty conditions for the teams.

Russell Coutts is delighted to be back on the water in Auckland. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

"I think it's a great piece of water for this format," said Coutts. "It adds another dimension to the racing. All the teams here want to do well and will be trying to win. We are looking forward to some really close racing."

The regatta features ten international teams from nine countries match racing for a special trophy created by Louis Vuitton. In addition to Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), the competing teams are: Luna Rossa (ITA), Team Shosholoza (RSA), K-Challenge (FRA), Damiana Italia Challenge (ITA), Greek Challenge (GRE), Team Origin (GBR), Alinghi (SUI) and China Team (CHN).

There will be six races each day on the Waitemata off North Head, readily visible to spectators ashore and afloat. A daily draw will determine which of the four boats each team will sail.


VOR: Coral reefs and bad weather ahead for PUMA

Ken Read at the wheel during Leg 4. Image copyright Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Kate Fairclough

The PUMA team, led by Skipper Ken Read (USA) are currently leading Leg Four of the epic Volvo Ocean Race from Singapore to Qingdao, China. Four days into what has been described by the sailors as ‘likely to be the toughest leg in the history of the race’, the seven boat fleet are preparing themselves for extremely bad weather in the Straits of Luzon this Friday and Saturday, where winds of up to 50 knots and very lumpy seas are expected.

As long-range forecasts for this leg have predicted heavy weather sailing conditions for some time, the Race Committee chose to add an extra ‘weather waypoint’ to this leg, to keep PUMA and her competitors to the eastern side of the South China Sea. Forcing the boats to pass close to the Philippines was deemed to be the safest course of action, and it is likely that the teams will choose to hug the coastline of Luzon, which will give the boats shelter from the expected strong northerly winds.

In addition to the difficult sailing conditions the fleet will encounter, navigation in this region of Asia is notoriously difficult. There are vast areas of uncharted coral reefs, rocks and hundreds of tiny atolls to negotiate, and the charts used by PUMA navigator Andrew Cape (AUS) are far from accurate.

PUMA Ocean Racing skipper Ken Read (USA) commented: “Approaching the North Lucoma Shoals the water depth goes from 1000 metres to three metres. We had three charts of these shoals and one said we could go through the middle, one said maybe and one said no way. We chose the no way. And the ‘good’ news is there are about a thousand of these shoals all over the South China Sea. The accuracy of the charts is absolutely in question and supposedly there are a lot of reefs that are unmarked out here. As if there wasn't enough on this leg to make my stomach turn... we have many challenges ahead.”

The next few days will be physically as well as mentally exhausting for the crew of PUMA’s il mostro. The team will not only face harsh sailing conditions but have tough tactical decisions to make to ensure they stay ahead of the fleet.

PUMA Ocean Racing

Volvo Ocean Race

World Match Racing Tour Qualifiers and Wild Cards for 2009

by Yvonne Reid

The World Tour Qualification Series (TQS) schedule has been announced. In addition to teams holding a Tour Card there are two alternative ways to gain an entry to the Tour. The first is to apply directly to the event promoter for one of their Wild Cards, all events have at least two, and the second is to take part in a TQS event. Each Tour event will invite two skippers from their designated qualifiers.

2009 the TQS Events are:
Marseille International Match Race Y's Cup, France 7-8 February 2009
Match Race Germany, German Championship 2008, Completed
Berlin Match Race 2008, Completed
Korea Match Cup, Korea Match Cup Qualifier (KOR), 14-17 May, 2009
Portugal Match Cup, Campeonato Absolto de MR (POR), Completed
Qualifier 2 TBC
Match Cup Sweden, GKSS Spring Cup (SWE), 30-31 May, 2009
Sails of the White Nights (RUS), 9-14 June, 2009
St Moritz Match Race, Swiss MR Championship, 16-19 April, 2009
Open de Espana (ESP), 21-25 April, 2009
Danish Open, TMC DO Qualifier (DEN), 6-7 June, 2009
Warren Jones Youth Regatta (AUS), 27- 30 January, 2009
Brasil Sailing Cup, Campeonato Estadual de MR (BRA), 24-26 April, 2009
Detroit Cup (USA), 17-21 June, 2009
King Edward VII Gold Cup, Bermuda MR Nationals (BER), 29 August, 2009
Knickerbocker Cup (USA), 26-30 August 2009
Monsoon Cup, Malaysian Nationals (MAS), November 2009
Asian Championships (MAS), November 2009

“The introduction of the Tour Qualifier Series in 2008 was a huge success and we are pleased with how it has developed not only as a platform for up and coming skippers but also as a foundation for future events. Marseille International Match Race participated as a TQS event last year and has now been recognised as a Tour event for 2009. It is rewarding to see ideas grow and succeed”, said Tour Director Craig Mitchell.

For an entry to a TQS event you should contact the event directly.

Contacts for the TQS events can be found at:

Friday 23 January 2009

World Match Racing Tour adds Marseille International Match Race to 2009 Tour

2009 Tour schedule now up to ten events spanning ten countries and over US$1.2 million in total prize money

by Yvonne Reid

The World Match Racing Tour is pleased to announce that Marseille International Match Race (MIMR) has been added as the first stop on the 2009 Tour season schedule. The event, organized by the Yachting Club de Point Rouge (YCPR) and supported by the City of Marseille, will be held over 10 – 15 March.

“We’re very pleased to have this event in Marseille”, said Tour Director Craig Mitchell. “The event has a long history of excellence at ISAF Grade 1 level, and has always attracted strong interest as the first high-graded event in the European season. This is a perfect match for it to be on the Tour.”

Jean Pierre Champion, President of the French Sailing Federation said "Hosting an event of the Tour has been a long term goal of the F F Voile. The creation of a French National Championship Tour started 20 years ago. The championship went to all French regions in order to develop Match Racing. The system has produced sailors such as Sébastien Col and Mathieu Richard along with Americas Cup competitors Bertrand Pace and Philippe Presti. I am really happy to see this event going to Marseille who have invested a lot in Match Racing facilities, as the organization of one ACT of the last Americas Cup has proved. It is also a good boost for the members of the French Match Racing Team after their two runners up places in the last two years. It is always important to compete in an event of the Tour in your own country, even more when the goal is to win the World Championship. Last but not least I'm very happy for the Yachting Club de la Pointe Rouge and the wonderful MIMR event which has been one of the reference ISAF Grade 1 events for the past few years."

12 Teams will race in eight equally-matched J/80 class yachts, and the total prize money purse is 50,000 Euros. MIMR’s qualifier event is the Y’s Cup and will draw on two teams from the 10-team format, held over 7-8 February in Marseille at YCPR.

The new Tour Card policy will guarantee invitations for 8 of the top teams from the 2008 season, with one being Sébastien Col of the French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge. While Col finished second in the 2008 season championship to two-time reigning World Champion Ian Williams and his Bahrain Team Pindar, he may find this event particularly favorable for his 2009 championship hopes as YCPR is his home club.

Marseille International Match Race

About the World Match Racing Tour:

• The World Match Racing Tour is the leading professional sailing series featuring 10 World Championship events across the globe
• The World Tour is sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with “Special Event” status
• The World Tour awards over US$1.5million in prize money
• Points are awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the ‘ISAF Match Racing World Champion’
• Events utilize the same “match race” format used in the America’s Cup with racing taking place in identically supplied racing yachts which places a focuses on team work and skill. Racing takes place close to the shore for the general public to follow the races as virtual on-the-water stadiums.
• Media and television highlights coverage reaches over 600 million households in excess of 90 countries around the world.
• World Match Racing Tour sponsors include Line 7, Pindar, Custom House, Travel Places, Wedgwood and Sail.TV


March 10 - 15, 2009 Marseille International Match Race/ Marseille, France
May 27 - June 1, 2009 Match Race Germany/ Langenargen, Germany
June 2 - 7, 2009 Korea Match Cup/ Gyeonggi, Korea
June 16 - 21, 2009 Portugal Match Cup/ Troia, Portugal
June 29 - July 5, 2009 Match Cup Sweden/ Marstrand, Sweden
September 1 - 6, 2009 St Moritz Match Race/ St Moritz, Switzerland
September 9 - 13, 2009 Danish Open/ Denmark
September 22 - 27, 2009 Brasil Sailing Cup/ Brazil
October 5 - 11, 2009 King Edward VII Gold Cup/ Hamilton, Bermuda
December 1 - 6, 2009 Monsoon Cup/ K.Terengganu, Malaysia

World Match Racing Tour

Warren Jones Youth Regatta 2009 Preview: Stars in the Making

Keith Swinton and crew sailing one of the Royal Perth Yacht Club's Foundation 36s at the 2008 Warren Jones Youth Regatta. Supplied image.

by John Roberson

With the 2009 Warren Jones Youth Regatta next week – 27th to 30th January at Royal Perth Yacht Club – it is amazing to see that in its short history this event has produced nine skippers who are now in the top 100 in the world. If we narrow that down a bit, there are two – Torvar Mirsky and Adam Minoprio – that are currently ranked in the top ten and four more who have made the top 50, making this regatta the launching pad for the stars.

This year ten skippers ranked between 22nd and 1,083rd in the world, will be tacking and gybing, ducking and weaving all over Matilda Bay on the Swan River, while giving their all to get their name on this prestigious trophy. Currently, after six editions of the event the honours are evenly split between Australia and New Zealand – though other nations have participated – and of the Australian victories, two go to W.A.’s Torvar Mirsky, with Sydney’s Michael Dunstan claiming the other.

This year sees three Kiwi crews crossing the Tasman, while three Sydney teams are crossing the Nullabor, to take on four boats of W.A. sailors. The competition will be hot and strong, with South of Perth Yacht Club’s Keith Swinton highest ranked at 22nd in the world. Evan Walker from Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club is down the ladder at 41st place, but won the Alf Barbagallo Australian Match Racing Championships here in September.

From the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron comes Phil Robertson, on the 51st rung of the world ranking ladder, and winner of last year’s Youth International Match Racing Championships in Auckland. Nicky Souter representing the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Pittwater, north of Sydney is 10th on the Women’s Ranking ladder, and the current Australian Womens' Champion.

Every one of the skippers and crews competing are potential stars of the future, and for four days at the end of this month they will be on the launch pad, right here on the Swan River.

Keith Swinton AUS (SoPYC) Rank 22nd
Evan Walker AUS (CYCA) 41st
Phil Robertson NZL (RNZYS) 51st
Robert Gibbs AUS (RPYC) 62nd
Reuben Corbett NZL (RNZYS) 91st
Peter Nicholas AUS (RFBYC) 203rd
Stuart Pollard AUS (RSYS) 283rd
Matthew Steven NZL (RPNYC) 377th
Nicky Souter AUS (RPAYC) 10th (womens) 610th (open)
Brett Sharpe AUS (RFBYC) 1,083rd

Royal Perth Yacht Club

Monday 19 January 2009

VOR: Images from the Start of Leg 4

Ericsson 4 leads PUMA Ocean Racing away from Singapore on Leg 4 to Qingdao, China. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

PUMA Ocean Racing's crew concentrate hard on departure from Singapore. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

Aerial shot of Green Dragon as she leaves Singapore. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

PUMA and Ericsson 4 at the head of the fleet out of Singapore. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Phil Jameson trips the kite on the bow of Ericsson 4. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

Torben Grael at the helm of Ericsson 4 at the start of Leg 4. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Ericsson 4 leads PUMA away from Singapore. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

PUMA leads the rest of the back, behind Ericsson 4, out of Singapore. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

Close racing at the start of Leg 4. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

Race leader Ericsson 4 at the start of Leg 4. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Telefonica Blue at the start of Leg 4. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Ericsson Racing Team at the start of Leg 4. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Telefonica Blue at the start of Leg 4. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

Start of Volvo Ocean Race Leg 4 in Singapore. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Green Dragon leads Ericsson 3, the two Telefonicas and Delta Lloyd on the initial circuit at the start of Leg 4 to Singapore. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Telefonica Black chases Green Dragon out of Singapore. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

PUMA on departure from Singapore, showing the big cat image on her sails. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

Crews prepare dockside for the start of Leg 4 to Qingdao. Image copyright David Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

The Volvo Open 70s in port before heading out for Leg 4 to Qingdao. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Volvo Ocean Race village in Singapore, as seen from the air. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

Volvo Ocean Race