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Strength Through Adversity: Team Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

This week we join the Volvo Ocean Race as it says ‘bom dia’ to the southern Brazilian port city of Itajai. After facing the grueling conditions of the Southern Ocean, the race’s boats and their crews will enjoy a sunny respite with In-Port races, average temperatures of 26 centigrade (80 fahrenheit), and a chance for recuperation.

Some rest and regrouping will be especially important for the crew of the Azzam, who suffered substantial hull damage off the Chilean coast during Leg 5. It took every member of the crew to play a part in maintaining the boat’s structural integrity as well as their own safety. As Skipper Ian Walker put it: “Only in adversity do you really get the full measure of a team’s strength…”. Despite extensive at sea repairs, Walker had to make the very difficult call to withdraw the Azzam from the fifth leg, and dock in Chile for on-shore repairs.

The crew strategizing urgent repairs at sea

Having the strength to make such a high-risk and challenging call is the mark of a true leader. Knowing when to make a temporary withdrawal, that can endeavor later success, is a difficult trait to exhibit but one that shows deep character. As the inspirational saying goes: “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”, and we commend Skipper Walker on his fortitude. 

Azzam is now en route to Brazil, scheduled to arrive on April 17, four days before the crew begins In-Port race events. They’ll need 72 of those 96 hours to complete repairs, but then look forward to getting her back on the water.

Before disembarking for Leg 6 on April 22, the crew and their families can partake in Itajai's varied outdoor activities: diving, fishing, hang-gliding, and more. They will also have a chance to experience the varied cuisines of the region, and learn about the vast cultural diversity the state of Santa Catarina has to offer.

The port in Itajai, Brazil

Volvo Ocean Race’s next leg, to Miami, Florida, is 3590 nautical miles and will take the crew back across the Equator. It will also take them back through the Doldrums, as well as other potential nautical challenges along the way. However we are confident that Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will again band together and show their strength during adversity.

Source: Volvo Ocean Race