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Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing chase Leg 3 leaders

posted on 14/01/2015: 1560 views



The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) team are in third place in Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race as the fleet approaches the halfway point of the stage from the UAE capital to Sanya in China.

Charles Caudrelier's Dongfeng Race Team are out in front as they bid to become the first Chinese boat to win a leg.

On Tuesday, Dongfeng Race Team led by 29.4 nautical miles (nm) from Team Brunel, with the Ian Walker-skippered ADOR hot on their heels 3.5nm further adrift.

The trio started Leg 3 from Abu Dhabi locked together on four points, but the 4,670nm stage to the southernmost point of China is still anyone's to win, with around 2,500nm left for the fleet to sail.

MAPFRE and Team Alvimedica are also in touch five nautical miles behind, with Team SCA another 25nm behind.

The six-strong fleet — without Team Vestas Wind after they ran aground during Leg 2 — is expected to reach its destination around January 25-26 depending on weather conditions, but first they have to navigate through the Malacca Strait.

The 500nm stretch, dividing the Indonesian island of Sumatra and Malaysia, is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and narrows to 1.5nm at one point. That bottleneck could well allow the chasing boats to catch Dongfeng Race Team, should they stay out in front.

The fleet is expected to arrive in the Strait by the weekend, but for now is making good progress through the Bay of Bengal after passing Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, Team Vestas Wind continued its long journey from Malaysia to Italy on a Maersk Line ship for an eventual rebuild at the Persico yard in Bergamo.

It is expected to arrive on January 25 and will be transported with the help of Race sponsors GAC Pindar from Genoa to Persico. The target is a return to the race for the final two legs from Lisbon in June. - Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/sport/uae/abu-dhabi-ocean-racing-chase-leg-3-leaders-1.1440750

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