Abu Dhabi: Volvo Ocean Race fleet departs for China

January 5, 2015

Yachting Journal

Volvo Ocean Race fleet

Abu Dhabi, one of the most spectacular stopovers, after hosting  Volvo Ocean Race for the second time from December 12, 2014 until January 3, 2015, waved farewell to the Race fleet as they set sail for the third leg to China.

Ocean Racing led a six-strong fleet out of their host port under a thick blanket of fog on Saturday after several laps of an in-port course to start leg three of Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 to Sanya, China, reports Emirates 24/7

They were pursued by Dongfeng Race Team (China) and Team SCA (Sweden), the all-female crew who won the Abu Dhabi in-port race. Officials, business leaders, public figures, residents and tourists gathered at Abu Dhabi Corniche breakwater to bid farewell at the official departure ceremony of the toughest round-the-world sailing event.
Abu Dhabi, one of the most spectacular stopovers, hosted the Volvo Ocean Race for the second time from December 12, 2014 until January 3, 2015.  Over the course of three weeks, visitors to the fan-friendly Destination Village on the Corniche breakwater enjoyed multiple concerts and entertainment offerings during the highly sought-after New Year dates, creating a one of a kind stopover experience. 
The race is perfectly poised with three teams -- Team Brunel (Netherlands), Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Dongfeng Race Team (China) -- tied at the top of the standings with four points apiece.
They are chased by Team Alvimedica (Turkey/USA), who were awarded an extra point for time lost in the second leg for diverting course to sail to the assistance of Team Vestas Wind. The third leg of the 38,739nm race, which started on Oct. 4 in Alicante, Spain and visits 11 countries and each continent, promises to be one of the most hazardous of the event.
The boats will need to navigate the 500nm Malacca Strait dividing the Indonesian island of Sumatra and Malaysia. The 500nm stretch of water, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, narrows to 1.5nm at its most narrow point.