Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing score first success at Fastnet Race
PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND // Azzam's maiden voyage was a roaring success as Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing won the Volvo 70 class in the Fastnet Race in England.
Skippered by Ian Walker, the Abu Dhabi team edged Volvo Ocean Race rivals Groupama 4 of France by 4mins 42secs to the finish line in Plymouth on the English south coast in a time of 1 day 18hrs 39mins.
It smashed the monohull record, which stood at 1 day 20hrs and 18mins, in the process.
Azzam arrived in Plymouth at 7.39am (10.39am UAE) after completing the voyage from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Fastnet Rock off the south coast of Ireland and then on to Plymouth.
The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team were five minutes behind the French crew when they reached the rock, with Team Sanya, the Chinese entrant, a further 1hr 10mins behind.
The two leading boats jockeyed for position en route to Plymouth and, with 15 nautical miles to go, Azzam held a fractional advantage.
Walker's team held on to their lead, prompting rival skipper Franck Cammas to immediately tweet: "Groupama 4 finish 2nd... Bravo to the team and bravo to Abu Dhabi!"