Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi suffer broken J4 bulkhead, all crew safe

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have suspended racing and are heading back to Auckland after suffering damage to the J4 bulkhead on their racing yacht Azzam shortly after the start of Leg 5 to Itajaí. All crew are safe, the team reported.

At 0700 UTC/GMT on Sunday, Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker reported that Azzam had suffered a broken J4 bulkhead and suspended racing on the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.

“Only 50 nautical miles into the leg and given the close proximity to Auckland, where the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing shore team is still based, Walker decided returning to port to undertake repairs was the best course of action,” the statement said.

“Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is expected to rejoin the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5
immediately after repairs are complete — approximately in the next 48 hours.”

Nick Dana, Media Cew Member, described the stiuation on board:

“Absolutely gutted,” he said. “After going off a fairly sized and steep wave, we have torn the J4 bulkhead clean out. We are now headed for Auckland and hopefully a quick turnaround. The team is devastated but fully focused on the task in hand.”

Positions at 9:00 GMT this morning

  1. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand at 6 651,1 milles from finish
  2. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG  à 1,1 milles from leaer
  3. Groupama sailing team at 1,2 milles
  4. Team Telefonica at 1,70 milles
  5. Team Sanya at 2,2 milles
  6. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing  – race suspended

General standings

  1. Telefonica (Iker Martinez) : 1+30+6+29+2+27+6+20+1 = 122 points
  2. Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) : 2+20+2+18+5+24+2+30+4 = 107 points
  3. Camper (Chris Nicholson) : 4+25+5+24+4+18+3+15+6 = 104 points
  4. Puma (Ken Read) : 5+0+4+19+3+17+5+25+5 = 83 points
  5. Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) : 6+0+3+10+6+14+4+10+2 = 55 points
  6. Sanya (Mike Sanderson) : 3+0+1+5+2+5+1+5+3 = 25 points

Photo Credit: Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

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