Young sailors get behind Abu Dhabi team ahead of Volvo Ocean Race ‘homecoming’ Leg
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 18th November 2014 - Young sailors in Abu Dhabi made sure to practice their ‘Go Azzam!’ cheers this week as Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) – the emirate’s entrant in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - prepared for the next leg of the round-the-world yacht challenge – the race from South Africa to the UAE capital.
After victory in the first race Leg, from Spain to Cape Town, ADOR, aboard its VO65 Azzam yacht, named after the Arabic word for ‘determination’, is currently getting ready to hit the water for the second leg to Abu Dhabi beginning November 19th. Sailing from South Africa to the Emirates will take the fleet from the southern to the northern hemisphere, from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans.
ADOR, which includes local sailing superstar Adil Khalid, the only Arab to have ever completed the round-the-world yacht race before, would like nothing more than to triumph in the 6,125 nautical mile Leg that will bring them ‘home’ mid -December to a spectacular welcome and an action-packed three weeks Stopover which will run until January 3.
And ahead of the start of the next epic challenge, youngsters from Abu Dhabi’s Al Muna and Al Mushrif took time off their sailing lessons at Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club (ADSYC), to send a message of encouragement to ADOR.
Khalifa Al Mheiri, aged 10, from Al Mushrif school said: “I hope they win, I’m really excited about the next part of the Volvo Ocean Race. I would like to bring my whole family down to the finish line in December to see Azzam win! I would like to be the second Emirati to sailor around the world!”
Mohammed Al Romaithi, age 12, also from Al Mushrif School, added: “I also hope they win – I think they are all very brave. After watching the race I’d now like to race around the world also.”
The schoolchildren were not the only ones to be inspired by ADOR and Adil, with ADYSC’s other club members also ready to cheer on the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture (TCA Abu Dhabi)-backed team.
Mohammed Al Hammadi, aged 12, an ADSYC sailor, said: “I think Adil is a hero. I’ve met him when he came to the club to teach us about sailing and I think he is amazing. I would like to do what he does when I grow up.”
And the team isn’t the only draw for the kids, with Sophia Wright, from Al Muna School, just as excited by the fun that awaits at the Corniche Breakwater Stopover Destination Village, which opens December 12.
“I’m really excited about the team coming to Abu Dhabi,” said the 10-year-old. “I think the race is fantastic but I also can’t wait to see what will happen in the city when the teams arrive in December.”