Februari 01, 2009 @ 18:36:00   Foto Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

Green Dragon finish 4th on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, in Qingdao

1 AV 2

13:15 GMT

With U2's 'Elevation' belting out - the team theme song - Green Dragon is being treated to a hero's welcome here in Qingdao. And as soon as the song ends, the 500 drummers begin drumming as the crew comes off the boat, and walks up the pontoon towards the stage for the prize-giving ceremony.

It's a raucous welcome, a well-deserved reception for a team that truly battled to get here.

A full story with quotes and reaction from dockside will follow shortly. And keep checking the image gallery as the finish photos come in.

12:45 GMT

An elated Green Dragon crew have crossed the finish line in fourth place on leg four. This earns Ian Walker and co a full five points on the leg, taking the team to a total of 26.5, good enough for fourth place on the leaderboard, ahead of Ericsson 3.

12:30 GMT

The finish line is achingly close for the Dragons now. Over 500 traditional Chinese drummers are warmed up - despite the cold night - and awaiting the Green Dragon team.

The buildings along the waterfront are fully lit up and the city looks spectacular. A great homecoming for the Dragons.

Stand-by for the finish.

11:15 GMT

Down to the final hour or so for Green Dragon as the Chinese-Irish entry close in on the finish line. The team is gybing downwind in light conditions; these final miles won't come quickly as the boat is making about 6 knots, but that shouldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the crew.

Qingdao is the hometown of Media Crew Member Guo Chuan, and skipper Ian Walker says spirits are high among the entire crew to bring him safely home.

"For Guo Chuan, our Chinese crew member who is the first Asian person to ever sail in the Volvo Race, this will be an even more special moment. Since the partnership with the Chinese began in June, Guo has lived and trained with the team, only once returning to China to get more visas!

"Qingdao is his hometown and I cannot wait to let him steer the Green Dragon into the dock. Guo's contribution has been great - I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to live for so long in such a tight space with people from a different culture entirely. Guo you are a top man and our battle to Qingdao was as much for you as anyone else. You deserve this moment."


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