Excitement is building in Abu Dhabi ahead of three days of on water action.
Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France at the start of stage 2 of leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape town, South Africa, to Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet resume racing on January 12 with the Abu Dhabi Pro-Am Race on January 12, followed by the Etihad Airways In-Port Race (January 13).
The first stage of Leg 3 to Sanya, China commences on January 14.
The resumption of racing means two back-to-back scoring opportunities for the points-hungry teams, with six points on offer for victory in the in-port race and a further six for the winner of the Leg 3 first stage sprint to a location off the Sharjah coast.
Once the fleet reach Sharjah the yachts will be loaded aboard a secure cargo ship because of piracy for transport through the riskiest waters to an undisclosed safe haven port where they will be unloaded ahead of the start of the second stage of Leg 3 to Sanya.
Having each re-launched their boats on Monday after a thorough overhaul by their shore crews, today all five teams took to the water for a shakedown sailing session to test sails and hone their short course maneuvers.
Light airs prevailed out on the water for the entire day, but better conditions are expected on Wednesday when the fleet will have a chance to line up against each other in a short inshore practise race.
Volvo Ocean Race website