Sport in Brief: Piracy fear disrupts Ocean Race


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The Independent Online

Boats competing in the Volvo Ocean Race had to be transported onboard a huge ship manned by armed guards to the safe haven of Male in the Maldives because of the threat of pirates along the east coast of Africa.

The unprecedented move, which disrupted legs two and three in the Indian Ocean in late December followed advice from marine security experts.

Dutch ship Happy Diamond was also protected by barbed wire when it delivered the six-strong fleet safely to Male, where the fleet stayed from a few days before being transported to the United Arab Emirates to continue racing in Abu Dhabi over the new year. The boats returned again to Male early Saturday, also onboard Happy Diamond.

Teams were aware of the emergency plan for four months but were sworn to secrecy, signing non-disclosure documents.

Motor Racing: Reactive suspension ban

Controversial new reactive suspension systems that several Formula One teams were working on have been banned before the start of testing for the new season, which opens in Australia in March.

Matteo Bonciani, the International Automobile Federation's head of F1 communications, said that technical head Charlie Whiting had informed all the teams on Friday. The systems are designed to alter the configuration of a car's suspension in response to braking to improve its aerodynamic performance. Lotus, Williams and Ferrari were believed to be among the teams working on such a system.