Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing departs Alicante
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have fitted their replacement carbon fibre mast and departed Alicante at 1715 GMT this evening with a view to restarting leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race to Cape Town from where they stopped racing following their dismasting on Saturday night.
En route to the restart point, roughly 100 miles down the course from Alicante, the team hope to be able to carry out a test sail, however as they left Alicante they were motoring into a flat calm. Meanwhile the team are this evening awaiting the final all-clear from their mast and rigging manufacturer, Future Fibres, who are completing tests on the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's broken mast in an attempt to ascertain what caused it to break.
If Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing successfully make it to Cape Town on their own bottom they will get to score 10 valuable points, following the decision made by Team Sanya to ship their boat to South Africa, following its bow failure. While on the one hand there is now no pressure for Ian Walker's team to push hard, the crew will be keen to test the rig and make sure it is man enough to get them around the world.
"“It could give us the confidence we need to carry on the journey but it will be nerve-wracking too,” Walker said. “We’re not fighting for every inch like we would with other boats around so we might throttle back but on the other hand if we can go full steam and get through that’s exactly the kind of confidence boost we need.”