sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo 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























America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature
World Youth Sailing Week – Second edition officially presented + Video
Rolex China Sea Race - Sailing classic returns
Les Voiles de St Barth – Fired up for battle
CNN Mainsail Down Under for the 75th JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiffs
Volvo Ocean Race: North Sails on outfitting the Volvo 65
Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete   
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event   
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website   
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!   
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale   
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   


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.
X6XL NEW US