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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 January 2019

New and improved Azzam unveiled in England

Skipper Ian Walker thrilled to see new design, with the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing boat set to undergo structural tests in the summer.
Azzam will be readied for the new Volvo Ocean Racing season during the summer. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Azzam will be readied for the new Volvo Ocean Racing season during the summer. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Azzam, the 65-foot yacht that Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s boat will hope to steer to the Volvo Ocean Race title over the next year, has been unveiled at the Green Marine production facility near Southampton, England.

The boat was brought out of the shed in front of the ADOR crew, including the skipper Ian Walker.

“When you’re preparing to take on the Volvo Ocean Race there are plenty of milestones along the way,” Walker said. “Azzam coming out of the shed is, of course, a very significant milestone. Now the mast is stepped she finally feels like she’s ours. I can’t wait to get her on the water and sailing.”

The 39,000-mile race around the world begins in Alicante, Spain this October.

The new Azzam is one of eight identical 65-footers being built for the next edition of the race after the organisers switched from custom-made boats to a one-design format in an effort to reduce costs.

“She looks fantastic,” Walker said. “The design is very complex with lots of subtle colour shading involved. I think the painters have done an amazing job to bring the whole thing to life. Just wait until you see the full effect when the sails are up.”

The yacht will next undergo shore-based structural tests before it is launched before which an official naming ceremony is scheduled for a yet-undisclosed date this summer.

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Updated: February 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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