Volvo Ocean Race - No rest for sailors as focus shifts to job lists

Skippers Press Conference in the Abu Dhabi Destination Village.
The five Volvo Ocean Race teams who arrived in Abu Dhabi at the end of Leg 2 are now staring down long job lists after the shore crews carried out their maintenance checks on the boats overnight. Happily, most of the skippers reported only needing to carry out minor repair work with only Groupama sailing team requiring more substantial work to fix a long crack to the port side of their hull.

'There is always a job list,' said Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker. 'We probably have 50 small things to fix. 'We were last out of the water but it doesn't seem like there are structural problems from Leg 2. It all worked out well, no sail damage, no injuries on board and no illness, so we'll be in pretty good shape for the restart.'

Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Chris Nicholson said that despite experiencing tougher conditions than expected on the second leg, his team's job list was no longer than usual.

'We had some slight sail damage during the leg; as far as we know no hull damage,' he said. 'That's almost surprising considering some pretty harsh conditions in Leg 2, harder than in Leg 1. As far as I know, totally unscathed, but as normal we have a job list as long as your arm.'

Franck Cammas, whose Groupama sailing team beat overall Leg 2 winners Team Telefónica to win the Stage 2 sprint into Abu Dhabi, spoke just moments after going over the work to do with his shore team. The team's main concern is to fix the hull damage that provided a scare for their fans, unwarranted as it turned out, on the eve of the race.

'We just finished the job list which is why I arrived late,' the Frenchman said. 'As you know we had one big crack in the hull and we have to repair that. I think it will be OK in four days. Otherwise, we have some changes in the mast rigging and some new sails coming but we are happy with the boat for now.'

For Iker Martínez, skipper of Team Telefónica, and his Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg counterpart Ken Read, it was a case of so far so good. 'We are very good, very happy,' said Martínez. 'The boat is good, the sails are good, and everyone is fine on board. Obviously you have to check and recheck just in case but we are happy and should be very good for the return of the race.

Read couldn't help but contrast the team's current situation with the way they arrived in Cape Town, following a dismasting and an epic journey home. 'We're checking over the hull now,' said Read. 'Seems to be good. We did have small mast problem in Leg 1 we're trying to take care of. I think we're in pretty reasonable shape.'

The next points-scoring opportunity for the teams is in the Etihad Airways In-Port Race on January 13. Leg 3 to Sanya starts the following day with a sprint back up to Sharjah, before the boats are once again loaded onto a ship for transport through piracy-affected waters.

Volvo Ocean Race website