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Green Team take one step closer to Galway

Pirates, debris and fishermen the concerns as Volvo Ocean Race visits Asia

Pirates, debris, and hassling fishermen are some of the new dangers Ireland's Green Dragon and the Volvo Ocean fleet face as they head to India on the next leg of the round the world race.

The eight crews are now bound for Cochin in India, having left Capetown after their first leg stopover on Saturday in this 37,000nm race.

It will be the first time in the race's 35 year history that it visits Asia, and with that comes a whole load of different dangers, including the threat of pirates as they head north into the Indian Ocean.

Ireland's Justin Slattery, the bowman on board the Green Dragon, believes debris will be the biggest problem.

"Debris is the worst enemy in the water. When you are flying around 25 – 30 knots these boats are easily broken if you hit solid objects – whether it's a log, a shark, or something else.

"The No 2 danger is being hassled by fishermen. I guess there are a lot of poor people in this part of the world and they see these

glamorous boats passing by and think they are full of goodies, but that's not the case."

As for piracy, the crews have been briefed by a Royal Navy specialist, and according to Slattery, there is "not much we can do about that anyway".

The Green Dragon enjoyed a great start to the race from Alicante, claiming a podium finish in Capetown, despite damaging the keel.

However it suffered a broken spreader two days before the second leg start which resulted in parts flying in from Holland just nine hours before the crews set out for Capetown on the second of 10 legs - the seventh of which will bring the race to Galway for the first time next May.

The race from Cape Town to Cochin is 4,450 miles and the leader is expected to finish around December 3.

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