Jump Aboard Azzam

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

We're back and more determined to win than ever!

In the last edition, our double Olympic silver medallist skipper Ian Walker led an international crew including UAE Olympic sailor Adil Khalid to three in-port race wins and a stunning victory in the transatlantic seventh leg from Miami to Lisbon.

Ultimately though Walker’s crew couldn’t recover the points lost when a broken mast on the very first night of the race forced them out of the opening leg. Despite battling to the very last mile, they reluctantly had to settle for fifth overall.

Now for the 2014-15 race Walker has handpicked seven of the world’s best ocean racing sailors to help him write a new page in Abu Dhabi’s long and illustrious maritime history by bringing the Volvo Ocean Race trophy to the United Arab Emirates for the first time.

The lineup Walker has chosen to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him on his latest lap of the world’s oceans features six Volvo Ocean Race veterans with over 20 races between them and a highly talented newcomer.

After making history last time as the first ever Emirati to complete the race, Adil Khalid returns to the ADOR crew with the goal of becoming the first UAE sailor to lift the Volvo Ocean Race trophy.

10 things to know about Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

  1. Our sailors have raced 20 Volvo Ocean Races between them - that’s more than 13 years of round-the-world sailing experience.
  2. Two of our sailors have won the Volvo Ocean Race previously - Justin Slattery in 2005-06 and Phil Harmer in 2011-12
  3. Ian Walker is the only skipper in this race who has won an Olympic medal - in fact he’s won two: silver in both the 470 class at Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 
  4. Of our sailing team, seven are married (Ian Walker, Simon Fisher, Justin Slattery, Adil Khalid, Chuny Bermudez, Phil Harmer, Daryl Wislang) and one is single (Luke Parkinson).

  5. The ADOR sailing team has 13 children between them - eight girls and five boys. Ian Walker and Justin Slattery each have two daughters, Phil Harmer has two sons, Adil Khalid has a son and a daughter, Chuny Bermudez has a son and two daughters, Simon Fisher has a son, and Daryl Wislang has a baby girl.

    In previous races sailors have lost as much as 10 kilos in weight on a single race leg. To prevent that happening this time, our Sports Science Manager Pete Cunningham has the team on a special high calorie diet while they’re racing.
  6. To save weight, the team doesn’t take any drinking water with them on the race; instead, they make their own water each day using a desalinator which extracts the salt from sea water.
  7. Family, friends and fresh food are what the crew says they miss most when they’re at sea for weeks at a time.
  8. Sailing round the world might sound glamorous but taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race is among the toughest of sporting challenges. Along the 39,000 mile course the sailors will face storm force winds and mountainous waves, frustrating flat calms around the equator and have to deal with the extremes of high and low temperatures.
  9. Our Volvo Ocean 65 is named Azzam, the Arabic word for determination and a character trait shared by all members of our team.