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Clipper fleet to arrive in Qingdao

Marine culture and the Olympic spirit

The fleet of Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race is due to arrive in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province from Singapore between Feb 22 and 25.

Ten sailboats, including one boat named "Qingdao", joined in on the 40,000-nautical-mile sailing event, starting from Southampton, United Kingdom on July 31, 2011. The race has 15 stopovers around the world. The sailboats will finish the competition and return to the UK on July 22 this year.

The biannual Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the largest amateur yacht race in the world.

This is the fourth time Qingdao has hosted the race since 2005. Ten boats will set sail again on March 4 and head for California, US.

As China's Sailing City, Qingdao will continue its participation and sponsorship in both the Clipper 13-14 and Clipper 15-16 Round the World Yacht Race.

Ceremonies for receptions, prize presentations, and set sailing will be organized in order to celebrate the race and fleet during their stay in Qingdao, which is famously known as the "Sailing City".

Qingdao is a host city for major world sailing events, including the sailing regatta in the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics, the Volvo Ocean Race, and the Extreme Sailing Series. Qingdao has also hosted the International Sailing Weeks three times.

"Qingdao is trying to make this worldwide race a brand of cultural festivals featured by the marine economy," said Wang Xiulin, vice mayor of Qingdao at a press conference held on Feb 20.

The ceremonies and activities will follow the traditional Clipper routines and highlight Chinese local folk culture.

By hosting this race, Qingdao will show the city's enthusiasm for the sailing-related industries, said Lin Zhiwei, head of the local sports general administration.

Source: China Daily

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