Abu Dhabi home in fifth

Arrivals complete into Volvo Ocean Race mystery port at the end of leg 2A

Tuesday December 27th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing arrived in the Volvo Ocean Race safe haven to take fifth place on Leg 2A of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the line at the secret port at 08:56:38 UTC, 15 hours behind leg winners, Telefónica.

Stepping off the UAE team’s VO70, skipper Ian Walker said he had mixed feelings about the result: “I am upset not to have finished with a better result, but on the other hand after the disaster of breaking our mast on Leg 1 I feel a strange feeling of relief to have at least completed the first part of the second leg.

“To have failed to make the stopover in Abu Dhabi would have been absolutely disastrous for the team and the stopover.”

During the this leg, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing held the lead on five separate occasions, but fell foul of the trough that blocked the fleet’s path for several days. After making back more than 150 nm on the leaders, a slow Doldrums crossing all but sealed the fate of Walker's team.

“It has been a very bizarre leg and one during which we have scarcely seen another boat after the first night despite a very conservative strategy,” Walker added. “Fifth place does nothing to help get us back up the leaderboard where we wish to be and every member of the crew is feeling the pain.

“One thing that gets to me is that the guys have sailed the boat pretty well and yet all the effort expended actually now counts for very little in terms of reward.”

Walker said his crew would regroup at the safe haven and turn their focus to the second part of the leg into their home port of Abu Dhabi.

“There is no shame in being beaten by any of the teams in this race and the pain of finishing fifth will make the taste of future victories even sweeter,” he said.

With all five boats now finished, they will now be loaded on to a ship and transported to a point off the Sharjah coastline in the northern United Arab Emirates, from where the leg will be completed with a day-long sprint to the finish in Abu Dhabi.


Pos Boat Skipper IP1 L1 IP2 L2A Tot
1 Team Telefónica Iker Martinez 1 30 6 24 61
2 CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ Chris Nicholson 4 25 5 20 54
3 Groupama Sailing Team Franck Cammas 2 20 2 12 36
4 PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG Ken Read 5 0 4 16 25
5 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Ian Walker 6 0 3 8 17
6 Team Sanya Mike Sanderson 3 0 1 0 4


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