Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have finally given ground to Team Brunel after leading the Volvo Ocean Race for almost a week.
Ian Walker’s men edged ahead of the fleet on October 21 and kept in front until Tuesday morning when Team Brunel moved into a 59-nautical mile advantage.
But Team Brunel’s position only reflects their placing in the most easterly point of the fleet, closer to the opening leg finish in Cape Town.
Team Vestas Wind have gambled by following a course to the west of the two leaders but it was paying slim dividends with less breeze where they were.
Spain’s MAPFRE went even more for broke, heading 230nm west of Team Brunel but in the best gusts of the fleet.
“It’s almost as if we’re in a three-way tie for the lead with each boat making bets as to where the breeze is going to be strongest as we make our way around the western edge of the St Helena High,” said Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s onboard reporter, Matt Knighton.
“Vestas is way out west. We went westward a couple of times during the day to try and find more wind. Brunel opted to continue on our original southerly route and not west.
“Three boats, spanning 100 miles of ocean, each with a chance of working around the other two to get around the high fastest. We’ve been routing all of our positions and if you were to trust the computer, we’d all be finishing within an hour of each other with Abu Dhabi in the lead.”
The boats are expected to complete the 6,487nm first leg from Alicante to Cape Town around November 5after setting out on October 11.
As preparations come around for Abu Dhabi’s Volvo Ocean Race stopover, more than 200 volunteers are being recruited to help deliver the capital’s 23-day water sports, entertainment and cultural event.
Volunteer roles exist both on and off the water at the purpose-built Destination Village on the Corniche Breakwater, which is expected to attract 200,000 visitors between 12th December and 3rd January.
Jobs range from overseeing the village’s top attractions, serving as accreditation officers, information ambassadors, and assisting with race operations.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age, speak English and/or Arabic fluently and be able to commit to at least two pre-event orientation/training sessions between 29th November and 6th December and three event days between 12th December and 3rd January.
Volunteers will undergo full pre-event training including a specialised Volvo Ocean Race mentor programme and will receive official certification of their involvement.
They will be provided with specially designed clothing from Musto, free transportation and parking, a commemorative gift, daily meals and a chance to get up close and personal with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Volvo 65 yacht, Azzam.
People can sign up by emailing [email protected] or calling the Volunteer Coordinator, Nicole Scheffer on +971501119747.
Omer Abdulla Mohammed Al Marzouqi skippered ‘Zilzal’ to victory in the first heat of the Dubai Expo 2020 Traditional 22-foot Dhow Sailing Championship, organised by the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), yesterday.
The race witnessed an exciting turn of events as the dhows sailed from the Eastern Bridge of Palm Island towards Jumeirah to do a turnaround called Khayour up to the gateway to Palm Island.
The race though was domin-ated by ‘Zilzal’, owned by Marwan Abdulla Mohammed Al Marz-ouqi and skippered by Omer, who was closely followed by ‘Dahes’, skippered by Hassan Abdullah Mohammed Al Marzouqi, in second place.
‘Lafi’, led by Majid Ahmed Khadim Al Muhairi, picked up speed after trailing for a while on the choppy course to finish in third. Then, ‘Toufan’, with Ebrahim Ismail Al Marzouqi at the helm, followed in fourth place and ‘Ghazi’, owned by His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and skippered by Ahmed Saeed Salim Al Rumaithi, comple-ted the top five.
A total of 65 dhows lined up for the 22-foot season opener yesterday morning.
“Our team deserved this win as we have put in a lot of hard work during practice,” Omer Abdulla Mohammed Al Marzouqi said.
Ali bin Ghulaitha, DIMC CEO, added: “We had a wonderful race and it was great to see so many boats participate in the first heat. “We look forward to more participants in the subsequent heats,” he added.
The trophies were presented by Bin Ghulaitha, Saeed Al Tayer and Suhail Mohammed Al Ayali, both members on the DIMC board of directors.