Ador Comes Home to a Podium Place
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR), the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) backed entry in the epic, round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, received a hero-like homecoming welcome into the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi on Saturday after finishing the 5,200-mile Leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa in third place.
The crew – led by double Olympic silver medalist Ian Walker and featuring UAE Olympian Adil Khalid – crossed the finish line of the Destination Village on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche shortly after three in the afternoon to claim their second consecutive podium finish since the race began from Spain in early October.
ADOR’s Leg 2 result sees it tied on four points with Leg 2 winners Team Brunel and second place Dongfeng Race Team in the overall standings. Based on the official Volvo Ocean Race rules for splitting ties, Brunel are the overall race leaders, with ADOR second and Dongfeng third.
Although disappointed not to have finished first in front of the home fans, ADOR skipper Ian Walker said he was pleased with the result that he said kept the team on track to challenge for the overall title.
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) backed entry in the epic, round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, received a hero-like homecoming welcome into the United Arab Emirates
“It’s always an immense pleasure to be in Abu Dhabi, but it’s especially thrilling for me to be able to bring Azzam safely home,” Walker said. “I’m a very, very competitive person, so part of me is ruing the losses we had that denied us first place. We’re all very pleased to be here and are looking forward to celebrating with our families over New Year and enjoying the Abu Dhabi stopover.”
ADOR fans from throughout the UAE lined the dockside creating a sea of ‘sunshine yellow’ as they waved mini team flags to bid the Abu Dhabi team a warm welcome home.
“I’m just loving the yellow,” Walker told the crowd. “Thank you so much for sparing the time to come down here with your family and friends to greet us – so typical of the people in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
Ian said his Emirati helmsman Adil Khalid had been bursting with excitement to arrive in Abu Dhabi.
“Almost since leaving Cape Town, he’s constantly been asking ‘How many more miles to go?’” Walker said. “It was a bit like having your kids in the back of the car on a long journey when they’re asking ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ When we were 10 miles out, he got worse – he seemed to be asking every 10 minutes – that’s how excited Adil was to get here.”
Khalid – the only Arab sailor in the race and the only one to have completed a Volvo Ocean Race after his first ADOR outing in the 2011/2012 edition – proudly held aloft and waved the UAE flag as Azzam entered the Corniche Bay and came into dock.
“It’s good to be home,” Khalid said. “It’s time now to rest and get ready for the race to China. I can tell you now we’re already determined to lead into Sanya. This flag will fly high around the world.”
The ADOR sailors will spend the festive break in Abu Dhabi with their families and next up for the crew is the Abu Dhabi In-Port Race on January 2, 2015 followed the very next day by the start of Leg 3 to Sanya, China.
For more information about Abu Dhabi’s 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race Stopover please go to www.volvooceanraceabudhabi.com
For more information about Abu Dhabi, please visit www.visitabudhabi.ae.