Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR), the emirate’s entry in the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), has set a new IWC Speed Record for the current edition of the round-the-world challenge, racing 550.82 nautical miles in 24 hours as it approached Cape Horn on the fifth leg from New Zealand to Brazil.


 The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi)-backed team secured the speed record as it approached Cape Horn in the Southern Ocean while vying for the Leg 5 lead with Turkish / American entry Team Alvimedica. Having passed ‘The Horn’ on 30th March 2015, Abu Dhabi’s yacht Azzam - meaning Determination in Arabic - has now used the speed-record platform to full effect by taking the Leg 5 lead in the Southern Atlantic.

ADOR skipper, double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, said the conditions had been perfect for a record attempt and that the crew had pushed 100% to catch Alvimedica and set a new record in the process.

“It was some of the most exhilarating sailing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I haven’t had as much fun at the wheel for a long time. We had 30 knots of wind, our fastest sail configuration and a relatively small but long rolling sea state - just perfect for maximizing these new race yachts.”

Walker and his navigator Simon Fisher took Azzam on a more southerly heading on approach to Cape Horn and the gambit paid off as they powered their way up to second before securing the leg lead just after the Horn.

Fisher said the record run had required sailing Azzam constantly on the knife-edge of control to stay in the strongest winds.

“These new-generation VO65s sail fastest when you push them to the absolute limit.It was imperative we stayed ahead of the weather front that was generating the big breeze. To do that we knew we needed an incident-free final night before the Horn rounding. That meant three consecutive incident-free watches with no wipeouts or breakages – not easy when most of it was in the dark.”

With conditions moderating after the Horn, Walker did not expect the new record time to be bettered on this leg.

“Conditions before the Horn were ideal,” he said. “Now we have turned north and have 2,000 miles of tough sailing to do before the Leg 5 finish in Itajaí. You never know in ocean sailing but I don’t expect the new IWC speed record to be threatened.”

ADOR is expected to cross the Leg 5 finish line in Itajaí on April 6 and fans can follow the team’s progress via the race tracker at volvooceanrace.com.      





Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TCA Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.


  • The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be the 12th running of the 40-year-old event, which started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
  • The race started on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.
  • The 38,739-nautical mile route will also include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport, Rhode Island (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). A 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague is scheduled between France and Sweden.
  • The next two editions will be contested in a new high-performance boat, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.
  • The new 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yachts will be strictly One Design and delivered “ready to sail” for the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. The boats incorporate the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the Onboard Reporter programme that has been in place since 2008-09.
  • Seven teams are taking part. The all-female Team SCA is the first all-women's team to compete in the race since 2001-02. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is once again skippered Britain's twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker. Dongfeng Race Team come from China and is backed by Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle. Team Brunel from the Netherlands is skippered by race veteran Bouwe Bekking. Team Alvimedica, the youth challenge will be led by All American Ocean Racing and carry a double Turkey/USA flag. A Spanish entry, MAPFRE is also taking part, skippered by Iker Martinez but Team Vestas Wind, who started the race in Alicante, ran aground on Leg 2, and is yet to rejoin the race.
  • The previous Volvo Ocean Race started in October 2011 in Alicante and was won by Groupama sailing team, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas, in July 2012.

•           The previous Volvo Ocean Race started in October 2011 in Alicante and was won by Groupama sailing team, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas, in July 2012


Source: ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller