CAPE TOWN // Ian Walker, the Azzam skipper, said he believes the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team have solved the problems that led to a broken mast on the first night of the first leg of the round the world Volvo Ocean Race.
"We've got a rig solution [with] more belt and braces than we had before," he said yesterday. "Now it's about sailing. I think it will all be fine."
Azzam lost her rig in fierce conditions just over one month ago as the boats left from the race's starting point in Alicante, Spain. The team resumed racing after an effort to set up a new mast, but Walker determined there would be more gain by retiring and taking time to tune up the new rig in Cape Town.
Azzam made the trip to Cape Town on a cargo ship, arriving last week. The team has worked on fitting a new rig and getting the Volvo 70 racing yacht back in the water and ready for the second leg, which will bring the boats from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.
"The rig is in, it's up to jack pressure and we've completed measurement," Walker said. "We hope to be sailing [soon]. Once we're out sailing we'll have a couple of days of rig tuning but we did use this set-up sailing to Lisbon so that's positive."
The Cape Town in-port race will be held Saturday before the boats set off for Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
"The forecast looks pretty windy for the first 24 hours but it's good to get conditions like that at the start of the leg." Walker said. "Once we're through we can relax and get into it."