x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Skipper gives children glimpse of life at sea

Ian Walker narrates tales of the gruelling Volvo Ocean Race

ABU DHABI // An old salt gave some very young ones a taste of life at sea yesterday when the skipper of the racing yacht Azzam, Abu Dhabi's entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, spoke to children at The Club.

Ian Walker, who has won two Olympic silver medals sailing for the UK, told tales of the high seas to children as young as five.

Walker described what he and his crew of 10 might encounter on the gruelling race around the world.

Kristin McGrath, 11, from Scotland, found the race and the challenge exciting.

"I knew it was dangerous but never that dangerous," she said after the hour-long presentation, which included a video of the boats crashing through 14-metre waves.

Her brother Ross, 7, said he would like to take part in the race in the future.

The 50 people who attended were also shown a video of the boat being built in Italy.

Amy Kelly, 11, of the UK, found the presentation so inspiring that she is going to look up videos of Azzam on YouTube and join the Facebook page for the coming race, which starts in Alicante, Spain on October 29.

When the yacht arrives on New Year's Eve at the Abu Dhabi destination village next to Marina Mall, Charlie Ball, 7, said he would be out on the Corniche cheering it on.