Abu Dhabi Readies For Volvo Ocean Race Sendoff


Abu Dhabi city is readying for a spectacular weekend of international sailing activity as the UAE capital prepares to host the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) stopover Pro-Am race, the much-anticipated In-Port race, and the spectacular ceremonial fleet departure, which will see the 65 competing yachts set sail for Leg 3 of the round-the-world race to Sanya in China.

The action starts on New Year’s Day, when the six remaining competing yachts race for honours in the Pro-Ams.

The emirate’s own team, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR), will be sporting a very special sail that day, a 132-square-metre ‘J1’ sail signed, over the past three weeks, by more than 1,500 school children who visited the Destination Village on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Breakwater where the yachts are currently berthed.

The Abu Dhabi In-Port race, won in 2011 by ADOR, will be fought out on Friday 2nd January. Before the start spectators can witness dock-out ceremonies and a skippers’ parade with the fleet captains on camels leading their teams behind a traditional Emirati mariners’ band singing sea shanties.

Abu Dhabi’s 23-day stopover celebration will come to an end on 3rd January when the VOR fleet departs on Leg 3 for the 4,670-nautical-mile race to Sanya.

“The people of the UAE and our visitors can be proud of the event. It’s up to us all now to finish with a great flurry to wish these intrepid sailors, and our own Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team and its Azzam yacht, the very best of fortunes in one of the greatest ocean-going adventures known to man,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Director, Events Bureau, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which is behind the emirate’s VOR campaign.