The ten-strong international fleet crossed the start line at 15:30 local time (07:30 GMT) on Sunday, in approximately ten knots of breeze from the south west, flying their Yankee One headsails at the start of the 4,400-mile race across the Pacific from China to Hawaii. Hull & Humber managed to sneak across the line first followed by Liverpool 08, the only boat that approached the line on a port tack.
In sub-zero temperatures, the ten teams tacked up to the first mark in front of the Chinese sailing city’s breakwater, which was crammed with local residents. The home boat, Qingdao, managed to thrill the crowds by taking the lead as they headed off towards the island of Chaolian Dao to the east of Qingdao.
The race restart marked the end of a successful stopover in Qingdao’s Olympic Sailing Centre, which acted as a dress rehearsal for the sailing events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Tens of thousands of spectators lined the city’s waterfront to watch the send-off after a week-long visit that has generated unprecedented media attention. During the stopover 80,000 Qingdao citizens visited the marina to view the yachts and many of them returned to see the fleet set sail on Sunday. Clipper race positions - DTF
1 Qingdao 4400
2 New York 4400
3 Glasgow:Scotland with style 4400
4 Hull & Humber 4401
5 Liverpool 08 4401
6 Durban 2010 and Beyond 4401
7 Uniquely Singapore 4401
8 westernaustralia2011.com 4401
9 Nova Scotia 4401
10 Jamaica 4401
The fleet’s stopover in Qingdao marks the second time the Clipper Race has visited the city, giving the Olympic Sailing Committee further experience in hosting large-scale sailing events ahead of organising the sailing events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.