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Green Team exits shed

14th May 2008

Ireland's Green Team entry into the Volvo Ocean Race finally emerged from the shed in China and has been loaded onto a ship bound for Europe.

The Reichel-Pugh designed 70-footer was lifted from the Zhuhai yard by crane, but the day wasn't without its mishaps.

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A 25-tonne crane was bought into McConaghy's yard to lift the boat, but did not have enough reach, so a larger 95-tonne crane was bought in to lift her onto the lorry.

Unfortunately the lorry driver then decided he did not want to be in charge of such a big load in case he attracted unwelcome attention from the police. He was eventually persuaded otherwise and the Green Team's Volvo Open 70 started her first journey.

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The hard-chined Green Machine was then moved across the Pearl River delta to the Kwai Chung Container Terminal in Hong Kong before being loaded onto a ship bound for Southampton.

Supporters will be delighted to see the boat finally on the move, and the appearance of something tangible that should arrive in Ireland mid-summer.

Concerns still hover, however, with no visible sponsor yet making themselves known, crew selection shrouded in secrecy, and an ever-diminshing amount of time left for training off Galway.

Meanwhile, and in stark contrast, Ken Read's Puma entry had its nose kissed by team patron and notable Hollywood actress Salma Hayek yesterday at the boat's official launch (pictured below right), having already hit the water under full sail, to much acclaim. Similarly, the two-boat Ericsson team continue to train off the Canary Islands. The Spanish teams have announced major telecomms firm, Telefonica, as backers, and even the Russians have got their hands on a VO70, sailing Pirates of the Caribbean into St Petersburg. All of which leaves Ireland's Green Team, at this stage, Paddy last.

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Actress Salma Hayek christens Puma. Pic: Bizuayehu Tesfaye

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