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Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing ready to take on stormy leg 8 in 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race

posted on 08/06/2015: 1179 views



Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) – the emirate's team currently leading the Volvo Ocean Race – has left Lisbon on Leg 8 of the round-the-world race to Lorient, France.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi)-backed team passed the Lisbon leaving mark in fifth place after ghosting around the one-hour inshore section in Lisbon's Tagus River in light and fickle breezes and strong current..

Leg 8 is the shortest in the race so far, however the 647-mile Atlantic course is packed with testing tactical choices and with gale force winds forecast in the notorious Bay of Biscay.

"This leg will be non-stop for three days or more," predicted ADOR helmsman and trimmer Chuny Bermudez. "Always against the wind, there will be no easy sailing until we finish in Lorient and we must look after Azzam when it gets stormy."

ADOR lead the race by six points over tied second and third pair Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team and would only need to complete the final leg if they beat them both to Lorient.

However, Azzam boat captain Daryl Wislang said the crew had put thoughts of an early victory to the back of their minds and would be concentrating on nursing the Abu Dhabi yacht through the strong winds that lie ahead on Leg 8.

"This is a complicated leg with a nasty forecast," Wislang said. "We have to finish the leg with Azzam in one piece and if we can beat the other two then all the better."

The course sees the fleet race up the Portuguese coast to the north-western tip of Spain before it heads across the Bay of Biscay to the Brittany coast of France.

Unlike on previous legs, rather than race directly to the finish in Lorient, instead, the yachts will race around an inshore course taking them past Belle-?le-en-Mer – the largest of Brittany's islands – before rounding a set of navigation buoys in the Bay of Morbihan and heading north towards Lorient. The final miles of the course take the fleet clockwise around the nature reserve island of Groix and into the estuary leading to Lorient.

This complex inshore section is where ADOR skipper Ian Walker expects the mainly French crew on Dongfeng to be strong.

"It's basically Charles Caudrelier's back garden so I expect they will know their way around the rocks and tides there," he said. "We will have to be on our guard not to get caught out," Walker said.

Leg 8 is expected to take the fleet a little over three and a half days to complete with the leader expected to cross the finish line in Lorient on Thursday, 11June. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281606807.html

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