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Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing gets triple boost from New Zealand rugby superstars

posted on 11/03/2015: 1458 views

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) will be boosted by three of New Zealand's most cherished sporting heroes when competitive action in the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) resumes at the end of the stopover in Auckland this weekend.

New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu, scorer of the most tries in Rugby World Cup history, will step aboard ADOR's racing yacht Azzam as celebrity guest for the New Zealand Herald In-Port Race on Saturday March 14th.

The following day, when ADOR sets out on Leg 5 to Brazil, rugby superstars Richie McCaw and Dan Carter will be on-board for the inshore section before jumping from Azzam's stern as she heads into open ocean.

British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, skipper of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi)-backed team, said having the world-class trio sail on Azzam was an exciting prospect and would give the crew the perfect boost as they take on what promises to be the toughest leg so far.

"There are few more well-recognised names in sport than Lomu, McCaw and Carter, they are household names here in New Zealand and also highly regarded by sporting fans around the world," Walker said. "We can't wait to meet them and give them a taste of what ocean racing is like." Lomu exploded on to the international rugby scene in the famous black jersey at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa when his power and pace made him the scourge of the world's best defences and earned him a permanent place in the hearts of all Kiwi rugby fans. He represented his country 63 times, scoring 37 tries.

"When I received an invitation to join the guys competing in this ultimate round-the-world sailing race, I jumped at the chance," said Lomu. "I know the team from Abu Dhabi is currently leading both the overall race and the In-Port Race series, so hopefully I will have the best vantage point possible to see another podium finish on Saturday!" ADOR's pair of celebrity jumpers for the Leg 5 departure from Auckland are lauded by rugby experts as two of the finest players in the history of the game. Captain and openside flanker McCaw is the most capped New Zealand player of all-time, and has won more Tests than any other player in the history of the game, while Carter is the world record-holder for most points in Test Match rugby. McCaw has been voted World Player of the Year on three occasions (2006, 2009, 2010), while Carter has won the award twice (2005, 2012).

Carter, who many observers regard as the greatest fly-half ever, said, "I'm so stoked to sail with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Being on-board whilst the crew are in race mode, will be such a cool experience." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


06 July 2016 Volvo Ocean Race reveals route for next year’s race, and it is the longest yet
13 November 2015 National Day Sailing Regatta to kick off at Corniche Breakwater in Abu Dhabi
30 October 2015 Team Abu Dhabi XCAT to share sailing world cup stage
10 September 2015 DIMC begins race season under the slogan ‘Brave Martyrs’
02 July 2015 Mohamed bin Zayed receives Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team

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