x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Shore team awaits shipment of Azzam to Itajai, Brazil

Azzam resumed Leg 5, setting course for Itajai, Brazil where her shore crew awaits to effect repairs to the damaged hull.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's 'Azzam' is prepared to be loaded onto a container ship in Punta del Este, Chile, bound for Itajai, Brazil to complete leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's 'Azzam' is prepared to be loaded onto a container ship in Punta del Este, Chile, bound for Itajai, Brazil to complete leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Abu Dhabi Ocen Racing's Azzam departed Tuesday from Chile aboard a cargo ship for a week-long passage to the Brazilian coast and Itajai, the concluding port for Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing entry, retired from Leg 5 with a damaged hull while holding fifth-place overall, should arrive next Tuesday in the sixth stopover for an estimated 72 hours of repairs before an in-port race on April 21, according to a team spokesman.

Ian Walker, the skipper, had announced that shore team members Tim Collen and Sam Bourne would board the ship so as to make any attainable repairs along the way through the Strait of Magellan and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Upon arrival, Azzam will get new core foam on both sides of the hull, shipped from the Italian factory that built the boat.

From Brazil, the shore team member and reserve Emirati sailor Butti Al Muhairi wrote: "We are well here in Itajai, preparing a lot of stuff for when the boat will arrive so that we can fix it, fast and easy."

Meanwhile, two other stricken boats forged milestones in their resumptions of the monster 6,705-nautical-mile leg from Auckland, New Zealand.

The French entry Groupama reaped the 20 third-place points for the leg Tuesday when it sailed remarkably into Itajai four days after resuming and six days after a dismasting while leading.

And the Spanish-Kiwi boat Camper With Emirates Team New Zealand, chasing 15 points for fourth place, neared Cape Horn at the tip of South America, having diverted to Chile for hull repairs.

"It should come pretty close between us and the ship," Camper skipper Chris Nicholson quipped. "But they get to cut the corner" with the Strait of Magellan, "to chop about 400 miles off the course".

The American entry Puma won the leg last Saturday, 12 minutes ahead of the Spanish entry Telefonica, the overall race leader.

 

cculpepper@thenational.ae

 

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