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
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam