As Abu Dhabi nears, Azzam and two more boats jockeying for Volvo Ocean Race lead
Three teams have held the Volvo Ocean Race second leg lead within the last 24 hours as the fleet sped toward the stage’s conclusion in Abu Dhabi.
Dutch Team Brunel, led by 51-year-old Bouwe Bekking, held a slim advantage by 12.40pm UTC (5.40pm UAE) on Sunday on the 5,200-nautical mile leg between Cape Town and the Emirates. Bekking is contesting the race for a record-equaling seventh time, after first competing in 1985/86. He has never won it.
They led by just 3.6 nautical miles from Chinese entry Dongfeng Race Team with first leg winners Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, a half nautical mile further adrift. The three boats have swapped the lead through the weekend.
Only six boats are contesting the second of nine stages in the nine-month global offshore race after Danish entry Team Vestas Wind were forced to pull out at the start of the week when their boat was grounded on a reef in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
The nine-man crew escaped their disintegrating vessel to reach a tiny island, Íle du Sud, which is part of the St Brandon archipelago and surrounded by sharks. They remained there for two days until a small fishing boat took them to Mauritius on Wednesday.
The fleet is expected to start arriving in port in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Follow us on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE
Published: December 7, 2014 04:00 AM