6 Apr 2015

Abu Dhabi wins Ocean Race leg 5

1:05 pm on 6 April 2015

After 19 days of sailing, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has won leg five of the Volvo Ocean yacht Race, between New Zealand and Brazil.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, winner of Leg 5 arriving to Itajai.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, winner of Leg 5 arriving to Itajai. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Skippered by Briton Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi arrived at the port of Itajai (ee-tah-jah-ee) just 32 minutes in front of second placed MAPFRE.

The remaining two boats in the fleet completed the leg within an hour of the winner

To add the icing to their cake, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing set the new best mark for the most nautical miles sailed in 24 hours with 551 leading up to Cape Horn.

"Awesome. It's been such a monster of a leg, we were so, so stoked with the 24-hour record," said a jubilant Walker after crossing the line in front of a waterfront packed by thousands of spectators.

The stage victory leaves Walker's team seven points clear at the top of the standings with five of the nine legs now completed.

That gap was opened up following the misfortune of a broken mast, which struck Dongfeng Race Team and led to their retirement from the leg.

The Chinese boat is now being sailed, partly under motor, to Itajaí where its shore crew face a race against time to have the new mast refitted in time for the start of the next leg to Newport, Rhode Island, on April 19.

The leg was incredibly closely fought throughout its 6,776 nautical miles with Abu Dhabi, MAPFRE, Team Alvimedica and Team Brunel finishing in that order.

The all female crew on Team SCA damaged three sails and a rudder during the leg and are expected to finish on Tuesday.

In all, the fleet will cover 38,739 nautical miles and visit 11 ports and every continent.

The race concludes in Gothenburg, Sweden, on June 27.

Leg 5 finishing times

1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 18 days 23 hours 30 minutes 10 seconds

2. MAFPRE - 19d 00h 02min 56s

3. Team Alvimedica - 19d 00h 24min 32s

4. Team Brunel - 19d 00h 25min 48s