Abu Dhabi entry resumes Volvo round the world race

 

The Abu Dhabi entry has set off, for the second time, on the first leg of the  Volvo round the world race from Alicante to Cape Town. A replacement mast fitted, every conceivable test completed, just before six o’clock in the early dark of the evening, British skipper Ian Walker cast off the lines and motored out of the race village, El Volvo, to give chase to the other four boats already out in the Atlantic.

Last Saturday, just over five hours into the race, the original mast had crumpled into three pieces and the yacht had turned round to motor back. A lorry carrying the spare mast, along with another owned by the Spanish team Telefonica, stopped on its way to Madrid Airport, where both were to be flown to a storage facility at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport.

Abu Dhabi’s mast was transferred to another truck and driven back to Alicante, where the crew has been working to attach all the fittings to the replacement.

Technical experts from the Valencia-based builder, Future Masts, have examined every last detail to find the cause of the breakage, not least to be sure that the same thing didn’t happen again.

No cause has been announced – doubtless the insurance assessors are very keen to keep that to themselves – but Walker and his team must be confident enough to take on the 6,500 miles. On Sunday, Walker said he felt they could still win the race to Cape Town.

He has been lucky in that the four ahead of him have been moving much more slowly than they would have expected. And they, too, could suffer bad luck of their own.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Spain’s Telefonica was leading by less than five miles from the American-flagged Puma with France’s Groupama, which has taken off on its own, south along the African coast, third by 15 miles.

The second Spanish boat, Camper, managed by Team New Zealand, was fourth by over 60 miles, still paying the price for changing from a southerly strategy to a westerly.

The other casualty of war, China’s Team Sanya, is being lifted out of the water at Motril, southern Spain, trucked to Gibraltar on Friday and then shipped on Sunday to Cape Town for the completion of repairs to its badly damaged bow.

A whole new section of carbon fibre panelling will then be fitted and skipper Mike Sanderson hopes that there will be at least one day to put the boat and crew through its paces ahead of the inshore race.

It will then be able to start leg two to Abu Dhabi, the course for which has yet to be revealed. The boats will race to a “safe haven” in the west of the Indian Ocean, stop, be shipped to a restart port, widely expected to be Muscat, Oman, and will then complete the course.

The change has been made to avoid the risk of the boats and crews being taken by pirates largely operating out of Somalia. It is expected that the split course will be as long as the straightforward original. A similar arrangement will be put in place for the third leg to Sanya on Hainan Island.

Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadil have put their 60-foot Hugo Boss firmly into second place in the Transat Jacques Vabre doublehanded race from Le Havre to Costa Rica.

They are just 10 miles behind the French leaders Jean-Pierre Dick and Jérémie Beyou in Virbac-Paprec with Armel le Cléach and Christopher Pratt 140 miles behind the leader in third. Moving up to fourth are Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois in Gamesa, a further 40 miles astern.

The American sailor Anna Tunnicliffe and the Spanish pair now taking part in the Volvo, Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, have been named female and male Rolex world sailors of the year by the International Sailing Federation. 

Suggested Topics
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears