Volvo Open 70 Rule

Azzam, meaning ‘determination,’ will carry the 11-strong Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew, and the hopes of a nation, across some of the world’s most treacherous seas in this ‘Everest of Sailing’.

Emblazoned with a striking falcon, the UAE’s national emblem, Azaam was developed by the USA’s Farr Yacht Design and built by Italy’s Persico S.p.A. in Bergamo.

Azzam reflects our determination to deliver an outstanding performance in this race and to strive as best as possible for a podium place. It also reflects the fortitude shown by the pearl divers and traders who shaped our ancient maritime heritage.

HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan,
Team Principal, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

12 Things To Know About Azzam

  1. Azzam in English means determined – which reflects Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s approach to the Volvo Ocean Race.
  2. Azzam will be crewed by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the most intercontinental team ever assembled for the Volvo Ocean Race.
  3. The yacht has a revolutionary ‘flush’ deck to prevent water retention, making the boat lighter.
  4. Azzam, designed by the USA’s Farr Yacht Design and built by Italy’s Persico S.p.A. in Bergamo, is one of the most sophisticated ever constructed. It is the culmination of more than 7,000 design and 45,000 build hours.
  5. Azzam is the only Volvo Open 70 racing yacht without a true cabin top – a first for round-the-world racing yachts. The revolutionary design lowers the centre of gravity and reduces wind resistance, making it quicker. It also looks pretty cool!
  6. In another design first, Azzam has no side decks in the cockpit. All control lines instead run under the deck, arriving in what the crew call the ‘glove boxes’ either side of the companion way. This makes it safer, easier for crew to handle sails and reduces wind drag, making Azzam faster.
  7. The bow of the boat is fuller than normal which improves its high speed performance and makes Azzam the one to watch in breezy conditions.
  8. More than 20 people worked on Azzam’s design. over 75 hull shapes were considered, over 100 drawings or models were developed and about 35 of these were run through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis.
  9. Azzam weighs approximately 14,000kgs, which is equivalent to seven Volvo XC90 SUV crossover vehicles.
  10. She is as tall as a 12-storey building from the base of the keel to the tip of the mast, and as long as two London double-decker buses.
  11. Sails are like a golfer’s clubs. Big sails like the masthead zero are the ‘drivers’ of the sail wardrobe, with smaller sails being used when it gets windier and Azzam needs to depower. The biggest sail (masthead zero) is over 450m² and the mainsail is over 150m², so combined they represent an area two and half times bigger than a tennis court!
  12. There were 11 different nationalities representing four continents involved in building Azzam.