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
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick