Mixed fortunes for Abu Dhabi Racing yachts

ABU DHABI OCEAN RACING’S former Volvo Ocean Race yacht has been destroyed by fire at a French shipyard.

The VOR 70 Azzam, which finished the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in fifth place, was engulfed in flames in a fire at a shed in Cogolin on the French Riviera where it was being stored. Most of the hull of the Italian-built yacht was melted and only the boom remained intact after the blaze was put out by firefighters.

This year’s Abu Dhabi Racing yacht is having better fortunes on the water than its previous incarnation, currently sitting in second place in the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race at the time of going to press. Having won the first leg from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa, Abu Dhabi Racing sits joint first with Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team in the 2014/15 edition of the world’s toughest yacht race.

Leg four will see the six remaining competitors (Team Vestas Wind had to pull out after hitting a reef, but are aiming to take part in the final two legs) race the 5,264 nautical miles from Sanya, China, to Auckland in New Zealand, the longest stretch of the race. The next phase of the race will see the yachts depart Sanya on February 8.

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