Abu Dhabi Wins Volvo Ocean Race

First champion from Asia

Jun 23, 2015
Outside Magazine

The Abu Dhabi team celebrates their victory.    Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing won the Volvo Ocean Race, despite pulling into the port of Gothenburg, Sweden, in fifth place on Monday (one of the team’s worst finishes during the nine legs of the race). The team had accumulated enough points in the previous legs to take first in the 12th around-the-world sailing competition, making it the first Asia-based crew to win, the Washington Post reported.

“My overwhelming feeling right now is that of relief,” team skipper Ian Walker posted on the group’s Facebook page Sunday night, according to the Washington Post. “Relief that all the tiny decisions I have lost sleep over for the last two years no longer matter.”

Abu Dhabi spent 148 days at sea, traveling 38,739 nautical miles over four oceans and hitting 11 ports on six continents, according to the BBC. The team beat out six others, a much better finish than its fifth-place result in the 2011–12 race. The crew logged two stage wins, three second-place finishes, and two thirds.

“I said at the start of the race that I was confident, but there are 100 ways to lose this race but only one way to win it,” Walker told the AP. “And it just all came together for us perfectly.”