Arabian Gulf winds billowing at its sterns, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet
blazed into Abu Dhabi - earning the emirate a place in sailing history
books as the round-the-world event’s first Middle East host port.
Thousands of cheering onlookers, fans, crews’ families and on-shore
teams at the race Destination Village on the Corniche breakwater,
watched the yachts arrive – with Spain’s Telefonica crossing first the
official finish mark off the south-western tip of Lulu Island to clinch
overall victory in the Cape Town - Abu Dhabi leg.
With Groupama, Camper, PUMA and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing not far
behind Telefonica, the Volvo Ocean Race arrived in the capital to a true
Arabian welcome. Traditional dhows, manned by Emirati crew chanting
ancient songs, accompanied the racing yachts into harbour. Ayala dancers
performed as the crew members came ashore and girls in traditional
dress showered the crew with confetti in the colours of the UAE flag.
The biggest roar came for Azzam and Abu Dhabi Ocean racing as they
docked in their home port.
The awesome Volvo Ocean Race fleet is in Abu Dhabi until January 14
when it sails for Sanya in China. Until it leaves the Destination
Village at Corniche Breakwater - which is as big as eight football
pitches and packed with entertainment, hospitality and sailing
opportunities – is open 11am until 11pm daily and 11am – 12 am at