Sailing into Abu Dhabi this week. It was the second leg of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), six boats participating , a round-the-world race through some of roughest seas. The challenge will have nine stopover destinations and a total length of 38,739 nautical miles. The competition began in Alicante, a city and port in Spain on the Costa Blanca, on October 4 and will finish on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo, with an in-port race. Seven navigators were at the start; unfortunately, Team Vestas Wind had to suspend racing as it experienced a collision with an Indian Ocean reef that grounded their boat. The race organizers had to recover the Volvo Ocean 65 in the Indian Ocean where the Danish team boat and crew were found in the remote Mauritius archipelago of St. Brandon. The nine members were picked up by a coastguard rib and taken to the nearby Íle du Sud where they awaited transportation back to Mauritius.The National Coast Guard of the Maritime Rescue Co-operation Centre (MRCC) of Mauritius confirmed that all members of the crew were uninjured in the collision.
Leg 1 to Cape Town – Team Alvimedica came out victorious in but Dongfeng was actually voted the top performing boat crew for its navigation abilities and overcoming technique.
Leg 2 Cape Town to Abu Dhabi today Dutch boat Team Brunel edged to victory in an incident-packed second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race when they pipped China’s Dongfeng Race Team by just 16 minutes after 23 days of sailing. This was the first time the 41-year-old race’s fleet had sailed all 5,200 nautical miles of the stage from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi. Team Brunel, led by 51-year-old Bouwe Bekking, had no such problems but they still needed a masterly passing manoeuvre five hours before the finish to shake off Dongfeng. It was the second time that the Chinese team, led by 40-year-old French skipper Charles Caudrelier, had been edged out in the last few miles. They lost out to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the first leg by just 12 minutes. The result, with Abu Dhabi finishing third, leaves three boats tied on four points at the top of the standings. Team Brunel, however, are placed at the head of the table because of the most recent win, with Abu Dhabi ranked ahead of Dongfeng through their victory on leg one from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town last month. The VOR stopover in Abu Dhabi will be from December 12, 2014 to January 3, 2015. This is sure to give a year-end boost to the emirate’s tourism industry. It is an opportunity for the public to get up-close-and-personal with the VOR ‘Heroes of the Seas.’ Meanwhile, over the coming weeks, there is to be a fantastic festival held at the Destination Village, located on the Corniche Breakwater, which opened to the public yesterday (Friday, December 12). The waterfront village will be the hub of three weeks of sports, entertainment, as seen on the public schedule available at volvooceanrace.com.
As for Leg 3 Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China, it will start on January 3, 2015, a day after the in-port race. This will be the third time the race will visit the South China Sea. It will be a short voyage of 4,670 miles, but it will take the fleet on a tough route from the UAE. Sailing fans from around the world are sure to enjoy the rest of the remaining stages of the 2014-2015 VOR to see what boats will overcome the challenges and finish the race.