sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race: Tough call to buy time for Abu Dhabi

Volvo Ocean Race: Tough call to buy time for Abu Dhabi

'Skipper Ian Walker and the crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing retire from leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.'    Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper, Ian Walker says making the call to pull out of the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race has been one of the hardest decisions of his life.

Having been forced to return to Alicante within a few hours of the start when their mast was destroyed by the impact of a massive wave, Abu Dhabi had been in an all out race against the clock to get back on the water and complete the 6,500 nautical mile leg to Cape Town, South Africa.

After successfully fitting their replacement mast, the crew left Alicante on Wednesday night and officially re-joined the race in the early hours of Thursday morning, almost 1,000 nautical miles behind the fleet.

Skipper Ian Walker onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. -  Nick Dana-Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing -Volvo?nid=90627 Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo
However, as Azzam approached the Strait of Gibraltar this morning, after consultation with his crew as well as the team’s management and sponsors, Walker made the tough choice to retire from the leg.

The team now plans to sail to the Portuguese port of Lisbon where Azzam will be packed up and loaded on a ship to Cape Town, buying them more time to make modifications to the boat’s rigging.

'This decision has been a few days in the making' said Walker from Azzam today.

'As we said when we left Alicante we were just coming out to see how the new spare mast set up and we are carrying on our investigation as to why the original mast breakage occurred.

'It’s been an agonising period but on balance today we made the call that we needed enough time in Cape Town to make some modifications to our rigging.'

Walker, a double Olympic Silver medallist, says he and the crew of professional sailors had to balance their natural competitive instincts to race on to Cape Town against the risks to the long term viability of the project and their chances of winning the race overall.

'If we carried on sailing, even if we had made it safely and our current set up had got us there, we would probably not have the time to make the necessary modifications and really be able to race at 100 per cent in Leg 2, which is our primary goal.

Skipper Ian Walker and the crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing retire from leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. -  Nick Dana-Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing -Volvo?nid=90627 Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

'We discussed a number of options. We could have continued to race flat out and hope everything would be OK, we could have backed off when it was windy, or we could find another way of getting the boat to Cape Town and buy ourselves enough time to play catch up.'

Despite having been trapped in windless conditions since restarting, Abu Dhabi are likely to face fierce conditions when they enter the Atlantic, something which Walker says he had been keeping a close eye on.

'We have been checking almost hourly and right now I am more confident than ever that we have made the right decision.'

Walker said the technical detail of the eventual solution was still being finalised but that they hoped to be able complete some of the work while Azzam was enroute to Cape Town.

'We need to go from a continuous to a discontinuous system of rigging in all likelihood, which will probably involve modifications to our spreaders, which we can do while the boat is being shipped and the mast is down, and then cure new carbon rigging in Cape Town.'

With a window of just 36-hours between their expected arrival in Lisbon and the cargo ship’s scheduled departure, the clock is ticking once again for Abu Dhabi.

Walker says although the team will motor the 60 miles to Gibraltar they are then hopeful of a fast passage under sail to Lisbon.

Skipper Ian Walker and the crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing retire from leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. -  Nick Dana-Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing -Volvo?nid=90627 Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

'Once there we have 36-hours for the sailing team to take the mast out, load everything up and put the boat on a cradle that we have had built, and load it on to the deck of a cargo ship which will leave on Monday afternoon.'

'It’s pretty tight but it’s an achievable timeframe which gets us to Cape Town before the end of the month.'

Walker said he was hopeful that they would be ready in time for the Cape Town In-Port Race.

'A lot of things have got to go right for us to be ready in time. We are relying on making this ship on Monday and it being on time. We are also relying on a lot of work from Future Masts to develop the new rigging, build all the new pieces and come out and cure new rigging for us in Cape Town.

'With conservative estimates we will hopefully have it in place in time to do some sailing prior to the in-port race in Cape Town.'

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Nick Dana-Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing -Volvo?nid=90627 Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. -  Nick Dana-Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing -Volvo?nid=90627 Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

Simon fisher helming Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. -  Nick Dana-Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing -Volvo?nid=90627 Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo




by Justin Chisholm

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=90627

10:50 PM Fri 11 Nov 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Related News Stories:

21 Aug 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Official Video of latest edtion
21 Aug 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: All-Women crew announced for the 2014-15 edition
31 Jul 2012  B&G helps Volvo Ocean Race winner to victory
18 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: And when the race is over.... + Video
18 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Calling up the Reinforcements
16 Jul 2012  The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Sanderson wants to go again
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean race: How the closest ever race was won
10 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World























Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,










Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club? by Dan Ibsen & the Sail-World team, Copenhagen


Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta by Bruce Fleming, Santa Barbara
















J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe! by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight












2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins by Dobbs Davis, Detroit




IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Brazilian dance party
IFDS Disabled Sailing Worlds Day 5 - USA fighting for Rio 2016 Berths
J/111 World Championship 2014 - Day 4: Shmokin Joe consolidates lead
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi on top - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 2
2014 IFDS World Championships - Breezy frustrations
2014 Detroit Cup - Down to the final four   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Every finisher's a winner   
2014 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
J/24 US National Championship - Will Welles leaps into lead   
J/111 World Championships - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 – Day 2   
Light wind and a freak storm at Youth Olympic Sailing Competition   
31st Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Declared 'best ever'   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Aussies on fire   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Saturday’s racing images by Tim Wilkes   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Day 5 images by Jude Robertson   
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Champ - Day 3 images by Joy Dunigan   
Holt’s 25-year dream comes true with 505 Worlds Victor   
Emirates Team NZ: Collision puts an end to bid for a better day at ESS   
Extreme Sailing Series: Ben Ainslie Racing - mixed results on Day 2   
America's Cup: New brand and image partnership announced with SME   
Extreme Sailing: Tough and testing day on Cardiff Bay - Day 2 + Video   
2014 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
2014 J/111 World Championship - Bigger breeze arrives on day 2!   
2014 Detroit Cup - Quarter-finalists determined   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT