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Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing aiming for Brazilian 'one-two' at Itajai In-Port Race

posted on 18/04/2015: 1382 views



Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) will be looking to cement its position at the top of the Volvo Ocean Race standings with a strong performance in the Brazilian heat of the In-Port Race series in Itajai when competitive action resumes on Saturday.

The team - led by British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker and backed by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) – won the fifth leg of the round-the-world race from New Zealand to Brazil, establishing a seven-point advantage at the top of the overall leaderboard.

The Abu Dhabi yacht Azzam – which means ‘determination' in Arabic – also leads the In-Port Race Series but is tied on points with Netherlands crew Team Brunel, and ADOR skipper Walker said his crew would be racing flat-out on Saturday to hold on to top spot.

"The in-port race points don't count towards the main points, but the in-port race series result is used to split ties in the overall results," Walker explained. "There is still a long way to go in this race and the in-port score could be an important factor. Rest assured we will be giving it everything we have for a good result on Saturday."

Boosting the ADOR line-up for Saturday's one-hour inshore sprint will be double World Cup-winning footballing legend Cafu, Brazil's most internationally capped player and the only one to play in three World Cup Final matches.

In a senior career spanning 18 years, the right back made 117 appearances for his hometown club Sao Paulo, but is most famous for his time at Italian giants Roma and AC Milan.

"I am looking forward immensely to meeting Ian and the rest of the Azzam crew," Cafu said. "It's great to be joining a winning team and I'm looking forward to seeing them in action in Itaja on Saturday."

The in-port race also sees UAE Olympic sailor Adil Khalid return to the ADOR crew after being side-lined for two Legs by illness. The young Emirati – one of ADOR's two under-30 sailors – has been working hard on his recovery and said he is overjoyed to be back.

"It's been a long hard road," Khalid said. "It was tough to wave the guys off the dock on the fourth and fifth legs and not be going with them. They have put the team in a strong position at this point in the race and I'm looking forward to getting back into the thick of the action on Azzam."

And Walker was equally excited by Khalid's return, saying: "It's great to have Adil fully recovered. He is an important member of the crew and everyone is pleased to have him back on board with us as we take on the rest of the race." - Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/sports/1395279398505.html

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