A misty morning, the mountains reflecting in the calm waters framed by reeds. This photo of the Volvo Ocean Race 'port series', taken during the race around Hong Kong Island, is reminiscent of the work of ancient Chinese painters. Only the fleet of six VO 65s (the seventh, Vesatas crew, is recovering from the tragic collision with a fishing boat in the final round of the 5th leg of the race) is out of place.
The wind is 4-6 knots and the conditions are not too favorable for racing, but convenient for photographers. On board of Brunel at the helm is a young sailing star, Peter Berling, for the first time in the whole round-the-world race. Had he won the race, he would have been the youngest yachtsman with such a victory under his belt. But no such luck: at the head of a fleet of three boats, he crossed the starting line too early and earned a penalty. And the race was won by the best starting MAPFRE.
In addition to the race around Hong Kong Island, there was also a traditional port race in Kowloon Bay, which ended in victory for Team Akzonobel. Now the fleet will have an additional coastal test in another Chinese city, Guangzhou, before starting the 6th leg from Hong Kong to Auckland.
VOR made a stopover in Hong Kong for the first time in its history. After the Vestas tragedy many criticized the decision of the organizers to hold the race here, one of the busiest ports in the world with extremely dense traffic.