Emirati sailing hero Adil Khalid celebrated his 26th birthday today (Wednesday) with his Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) colleagues – just days prior to the start of the nine-month, round-the-world, Volvo Ocean Race which begins in Alicante, Spain this Saturday.
“Adil’s a young guy, but after this race is all over he’s going to feel like he’s 42 instead of 26,” joked ADOR skipper Ian Walker.
Many of the crew aboard the Azzam, ADOR’s Volvo Ocean 65 yacht, will celebrate birthdays at sea where celebrations may be limited to little more than a chocolate bar and whatever the sea decides to throw at them.
ADOR got their Volvo Ocean 65 campaign off to an encouraging start with a second-placed finish in the In-Port race in Alicante, although the crew will be aware that sterner tests await.
There was a distinctly royal flavour to preparations for the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden joined Team SCA onboard their fleet and even tried his hand at steering the fleet.
Team SCA, an all-female crew, are competing under a Swedish flag in the 12th edition of the race.