1 post tagged Sanya
1 post tagged Sanya
It has been exactly two months since we brought you news of the Azzam, the IWC sponsored entrant in the Volvo Ocean Race that is being helmed by the Abu Dhabi Ocean Team. In December we had bid them a successful journey as they tackled the second leg of the race from Capetown to Abu Dhabi, a distance of over 5000 miles.
The team at sea
We now rejoin Skipper Ian Walker and team after they’ve completed another 4600 miles on the third leg of the race, sailing from Abu Dhabi to the southern Chinese resort city of Sanya. After having won the first stage of Leg 3, they subsequently struggled to maintain that lead and arrived in Sanya on February 4 in fifth place. The path from the UAE to China’s coast took them a grueling 13 days, 3 hours, 5 minutes, and 6 seconds. It is a stage where tight and concentrated sailing is required, and where a passage through the Doldrums (the equatorial area where winds all but cease to exist) can further challenge a boat’s crew.
These challenges led to some frayed nerves on board, but the now 620 mile difference between Legs 3 and 4 caused Azzam Media Crew Member Nick Dana to comment: “Every once in a while you have to remind yourself that this was only a 12 day leg — we will have at least another week past this in the next leg.”
Coursing through challenging waters
Indeed, Leg 4 starts on February 19 with Azzam venturing from Sanya to Auckland, New Zealand at a distance of 5220 miles.
The Azzam crew celebrating their arrival in Sanya
While in Sanya the team can rest, work with the onshore team to make any needed repairs to the boat, and participate in in-port racing. They will then embark on the next leg with renewed vigor, as the race is still very much up for grabs. Dana’s sentiments during Leg 3 are as true now as then: “a crazy weather change for another boat and we would be right back amongst the leaders. That’s the beauty of this race.”
The Azzam being reviewed by the Onshore Team in Sanya
It is with this optimism that all of us at Schaffhausen wish Skipper Walker and the entire crew of the Azzam a prosperous onward voyage.