As the fleet departs Zhuhai, the lively departure ceremony saw the marina walls lined with hundreds of spectators, including Jiuzhou Zhuhai officials, Race Crew supporters and newly recruited Clipper Race fans as they waved off teams on the next stage of the circumnavigation.

Race 9: Sailing City – Qingdao Cup will see the teams tackle 1,345nm of headwinds, currents, obstacles - notably fishing fleets, and plummeting temperatures as the competitors make their way north to Qingdao.

It was a beautiful sun-soaked morning, and after being presented with gifts from the Zhuhai delegation and enjoying a final moment on stage, it was time for crew to focus on the race ahead.

After slipping their lines and forming a Parade of Sail out of the harbour, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge provided an epic backdrop for the fleet as it motored toward the start.

Race 9 will kick off with a Le Mans start, meaning that the fleet will motor to an offshore Start Line, where the start will be co-ordinated by a lead skipper.

A few pictures from the day as it unfolded...

Image: Zhuhai leads Parade of Sail out of home port

Image: Traditional Chinese gifts for Race Crew

Image: Crowds gather to wave off Race Crew

Image: Traditional lion dance for departures

Image: Slipping lines from Zhuhai

Image: Thank you and goodbye Zhuhai

Image: Goodbye Washington, DC!

Image: Goodbye Dare To Lead!

Image: Goodbye Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam

Image: Goodbye Our Isles and Oceans

Image: Goodbye Perseverance!

Image: Goodbye UNICEF!

Image: Heading home, goodbye Qingdao!

Image: Goodbye PSP Logistics!

Image: Goodbye Yacht Club Punta del Este!

Image: Goodbye Bekezela!

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