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VOR Roundup: Abu Dhabi Returns, Puma Quits Sailing

21st February 2013
VOR Roundup: Abu Dhabi Returns, Puma Quits Sailing

#VOR - Abu Dhabi will return to the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15 both with a sailing team and a stopover in the UAE capital, it was announced earlier this week.

Once again skippered by Ian Walker, the team is the third confirmed entrant in the 12th edition of the round-the-world yacht race, after the all-woman Team SCA and a team representing the Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

The Abu Dhabi team joined the last edition of the race under the auspices of former commercial director David Hassett, who was previously instrumental in bringing the race to Galway for the first time in 2009, and was one of the team behind Ireland's underdog entry the Green Dragon, which surprised the yachting world by clinching three podium finishes.

Meanwhile, the stopover will be the end point of Leg 2 from Recife in Brazil, making for "one of the longest and most challenging in the 40-year history of this race" according to Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

"Heading into the Southern Ocean is never easy and this route will test the sailors to the limit," he added. "The finish line in Abu Dhabi will be one of the most eagerly awaited in the race.”

The news comes two weeks after Newport in Rhode Island was announced at the sixth host port of the race - and an understanding that no Irish ports will feature in the final route, according to The Irish Times.

Elsewhere, the VOR website visits the Persico factory in Italy in where the hulls are being completed for the new design VOR 65 in its latest video update - and also takes a look at the construction of the rigs for the new boat at Southern Spars in New Zealand.

In other news, it's emerged that Puma is pulling out of the sailing market, cutting its support for the Oracle team in the America's Cup and permanently dry-docking its Volvo Ocean Race team.

Reuters reports that the decision was made in the face of dwindling profits at the German sportswear brand.

Puma came third in the last edition of the VOR, which has its successful climax in Galway last summer.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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