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Montgomerie to help crew Volvo Ocean Race

Golfer Colin Montgomerie will take to the seas to help British yachtswoman Emma Richards in the gruelling Volvo Ocean Race next year.

The seven-times European number one plans to join fellow Scot Richards and New Zealand yachtsman Mike Sanderson for one leg of the 30,000-nautical mile race which is sailing's equivalent of motor racing's Formula One championship. "I am fiercely supportive of all Scottish sportspeople," Montgomerie said in a statement on Friday. "I'm sure it's going to be one of the biggest challenges of my life but also one that I will greatly enjoy.

"Depending on my schedule, I am aiming to sail on one of the legs of the race and possibly some of the in-port races", added the 40-year-old.

The nine-month race begins on November 5, 2005 at Vigo in northern Spain and comprises nine tough off-shore legs and seven inshore races in stopover ports.

Montgomerie hopes to help Richards and Sanderson to raise the 12 million pounds ($22 million) sponsorship needed to fund their entry.

Richards, 29, entered the record books last year when she helmed the 60-foot racing yacht Pindar into fourth place in the Around Alone solo race. She was the first woman and the youngest ever contestant to finish the eight-month race.

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