• 05-JAN-2015

Weekly Highlights N°11 - Leg 3

The Volvo Ocean Race was back on again in Abu Dhabi after the Christmas holidays. The in-port race was the first opportunity for the fleet to gain more points. A good race for Team SCA, who overcame light and tricky winds to claim their first victory.

A very special guest came to visit the race village. Rafael Nadal took the opportunity to learn more about sailing and the Volvo Ocean 65s with Spanish team MAPFRE.

On the other side of the village, at the Volvo Ocean Race offices, the ISAF Jury awarded redress to Team Alvimedica after the assistance they gave to Team Vestas wind when they crashed during leg 2.

After a long stopover in Abu Dhabi, the start of leg 3 approached. Big crowds flocked to the race village to wave the fleet off. It was an exciting moment for the families and shore crews, who bid them a warm farewell. The crews were ready for action and had big goals for this leg.

There are some new faces among the crews for leg 3. Some are legends of the race, whilst some new adventurers are ready to live out their dream by joining the Volvo Ocean Race on the journey to Sanya.

Mixed feelings for Chris Nicholson as he watched the other boats docking out, but he witnessed great support from the rest of the fleet, who all wish for Team Vestas Wind to get back in the race.

And get back they will. Very good news came from Team Vestas Wind just before the start of leg 3.

Back to the pontoon, and the action was about to start. It seemed the first 24 hours of this leg wouldn't be easy for the fleet.

Leg 3 will be quite different from the others, with less offshore and more coastal racing. The boats leave the Emirates, round India, head into the busy Malacca Straits then sail North to Hainan Island and the leg finish in Sanya. 4,670 nautical miles and at least 20 days of navigation.

A thick fog hung over the in-shore course in Abu Dhabi. The start of leg 3 had difficult conditions and light winds for the crews to contend with.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing took the lead from the start as they waved farewell to their hometown and headed for the Indian Ocean. Dongfeng Race Team was second around the last mark, followed by Team SCA.

The fog didn't stop the spectators, who came to see the first miles of a leg that would last more than 20 days. Once the guest jumpers had left the boats, the crews looked ahead to the next stop in Sanya.