Abu Dhabi finish sixth at final in-port race to secure Volvo Ocean Race double

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's sixth-place finish at the final Volvo Ocean Race in-port race in Gothenburg was enough for the crew to win the overall series as they beat Dutch rivals Team Brunel by a point.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew celebrate with the overall trophy. They can now add the in-port trophy to their collection. Ian Roman / Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ador) completed a rare Volvo Ocean Race double on Saturday despite finishing second from last in the Gothenburg in-port race.

It was a poor performance in light winds, but the result was just enough to see the Emirati boat over the line in the 10-part series, beating Dutch rivals Team Brunel by a point.

They become the second team to complete the offshore/in-port double in the 41-year-old, triennial event, following ABN Amro in 2005/06.

The success for Ian Walker’s team followed five days after they won the more important offshore trophy, contested across nine months and 38,739 nautical miles.

Read more:

Again, Team Brunel finished second, but five points behind in the standings.

It was tough luck on Brunel, skippered by 52-year-old Bouwe Bekking, who began yesterday’s race needing to win it and then hope Abu Dhabi finished last in the seven-strong fleet.

Bekking’s men did their part of the bargain, sailing peerlessly in light wind conditions, and at one stage Walker’s men trailed the entire pack.

But a shock turnaround in fortunes was averted when Abu Dhabi passed Danish challengers Team Vestas Wind midway through and held their advantage on a tight course.

“It’s not how to start, it’s how you finish,” Bekking said. “We had a shocker start in the in-port race, but we end with a first place.

“The clean sweep goes to Abu Dhabi – congratulations to them. They deserve the in-port series win.”

The all-female crew of Team SCA (Sweden) completed the top three in-port series podium places by finishing second in the Gothenburg race and third overall. Ador also won the overall 24-hour speed record challenge trophy, awarded to the team who complete the longest run during a 24-hour period in each leg.

“It was far closer than we wanted it to be today,” said Walker, who was competing against his old sailing friend in the form of Juan Carlos, the former king of Spain, who joined the Mapfre team for the in-port race.

“But to pull off a clean sweep of the overall, 24-hour record and now the in-port series is extremely satisfying.”

UAE sailor Adil Khalid – the first Arab to win the Volvo Ocean Race – agreed and said yesterday was the perfect way to end nine months of competitive action.

“Winning the in-port race series puts the cherry on top of the cake,” Khalid said.

“Becoming the first team to pull off this clean sweep is a marvellous achievement for the UAE.”

Final VOR race standings (after nine legs)

Team, points

1 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 24

2 Team Brunel, 29

3 Dongfeng Race Team, 33

4 Mapfre, 34

5 Team Alvimedica, 34

6 Team SCA, 51

7 Team Vestas Wind, 60

Final In-port race standings (after 10 legs)

Team, points

1 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 31

2 Team Brunel, 32

3 Team SCA, 35

4 Mapfre, 37

5 Team Alvimedica, 37

6 Donfeng Racing Team, 40

7 Team Vestas Wind, 73


Follow us on Twitter at NatSportUAE