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Last Updated: Thursday July 03 2008 06:35 GMT

In pictures: Algae invades Olympic sailing course

The thick blue-green algae that's causing problems in China

This might look like a carpet or woolly blanket, but it's really thick green algae that's causing big problems in China.

Aerial shot of Qingdao showing the algae covering the coastline

The blue-green weeds are smothering the water in the coastal town of Qingdao - one of the main sailing venues for the Olympic Games.

A boat trying to sail through the algae-infested water

They're causing problems for sailors as they are very strong and stringy, making it really tough for boats to sail through.

Volunteers trying to remove the algae

A massive clean-up is under way to try to get rid of the algae, which is said to feel like wet wool or hair and smell like overcooked spinach. Yuck!

Algae in the water off the coast of Qingdap

The weeds started to invade the coastline at the end of May and have steadily spread to cover most of the water and beaches around the Olympic course.

Army workers and volunteers taking part in the clean-up

More than 1,000 boats and 10,000 volunteers are involved in the clean-up.

A man with some of the algae wrapped around his shoulders

This swimmer looks like he's made himself a shawl out of the weeds. Doesn't look too warm though does it?

Volunteers getting rid of the water weeds

So far, 100,000 tonnes of the weeds have already been removed but officials think it could take another two weeks to get rid of them completely.