Boating Business – Land Rover BAR takes the ACWS win

AMERICA’S CUP: Over 130,000 people turned up in Southsea last weekend to see Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR team take the all important first win in the gale shortened ACWS event.Land Rover BAR showed the six strong fleet the way home on the Saturday, with a strong first and a recovery from last but one to a second place to lead the fleet with 19pts; just one ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand.But racing was cancelled on the Sunday as a low pressure system swept across Britain, bringing gale force winds with 40kt gusts, way over the upper level for AC45f racing.The loss of the final two races on Super Sunday meant that the prizes were settled on Saturday’s results – leaving Sir Ben’s Land Rover BAR as the winner.Amongst many disappointed spectators were Their Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Like thousands of others, they had visited Portsmouth hoping to see the America’s Cup contenders go into battle.Despite the lack of action on the water they still had a busy day, meeting the sailors from the different teams, and many of the people that had helped put on the event.They also visited the new home of Land Rover BAR, to meet both team members and their families. The couple also met with the 1851 Trust, of which The Duchess is Royal Patron, and concluded the day by presenting the prizes in a ceremony at the Historic Dockyard.Gusts over 37 knots were recorded at Southsea Common, and the Waterfront Festival and Fanzone Arenas had to be shut down for public safety.Race organisers initially rescheduled the racing to a midday start, to try to beat the arrival of the worst of the weather, but it wasn’t to be and, as the wind howled and the rain beat down, organisers reluctantly abandoned their efforts to put on the show.Final standings:1. Land Rover BAR – 19 points2. Emirates Team New Zealand – 183. ORACLE TEAM USA – 164. Groupama Team France – 135. SoftBank Team Japan – 136. Artemis Racing – 11All America’s Cup teams have been given the right to run their own AC45f ACWS event, but so far – after Portsmouth – the only dates known are Gothenburg, Sweden – August 27-30, 2015 and Hamilton, Bermuda – October 16-18, 2015

via Boating Business – Land Rover BAR takes the ACWS win.

Euros medal success for Pink and Bithell | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA

Euros medal success for Pink and Bithell

Written by RYA | 12 July 2015

49er duo claim European silver and overall event bronze at the 49er Europeans

World number one-ranked duo John Pink and Stuart Bithell fought back from a penultimate day disqualification to finish as the second European crew at the 49er European Championships, which drew to a close on Sunday (12 July) in Porto, Portugal.

Pink and Bithell, who claimed bronze at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland last month, concluded the six-day Open regatta – which permits off-continent entries – in third place overall.

New Zealand’s World Champions Pete Burling and Blair Tuke sealed the overall regatta victory with Germany’s Justus Schmidt and Max Boehme, the top European crew, in second overall.

Fellow British Sailing Team pairing Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign were sixth overall, and the fourth European crew with James Peters and Fynn Sterritt 15th overall (12th Europeans).

After a solid race series seeing them in strong contention for the podium spots, Pink and Bithell were disappointed to fall foul of a jury decision on Saturday which saw them handed a race disqualification for an alleged port-starboard incident with the Kiwi crew.

It left the British duo in eighth place heading into Sunday’s final day, where a planned three gold fleet races followed by a ten-boat double-points medal race meant that everything was still to play for.

After a short postponement at the start of the day, the British duo came out fighting, posting a third and a 16th in their first two races.

“We’re pretty happy to have come back so strong after a disappointing outcome from our protest yesterday,” Pink explained.

“But that fired us up for today and we had a good first race, an average second.  We didn’t actually know the points going into the last race and we thought at that time we were still going to have a medal race.”

The British pair rounded off the final fleet race – and what turned out to be the final race of the regatta – in style with a race win, and with the race committee running out of time to stage the medal race, Pink and Bithell had done enough to finish as second European crew as well as sealing overall event bronze.

“We’ve got a new boat here and we were using a different rig to normal as we have all of our best kit going to Rio,” Pink explained.

“We were happy to get all that tuned in in the first two days and then we developed on that as the week went on and built some confidence in how quick we were going.

“We raced well – we had a few silly mistakes that cost us a few places but other than that we raced very well and went pretty quick.  We’ve just got to cut those little bits out and we’ll be pushing even harder on the Kiwis.”

The pair will have a short break before flying to Rio in two weeks’ time ahead of the Olympic Test Event, and Pink believes that Porto with its tidal challenge and big swell has been a useful warm-up.

Meanwhile, a medal race capsize for John Gimson and Hannah Diamond put paid to their hopes of a podium finish at a weather-disrupted Nacra 17 World Championship in Aarhus, Denmark, where just eight races could be staged in the five days up to the final medal race.

The duo went into the medal race in ninth place overall but with their rivals close ahead on points.  They started strongly and were second at the first windward mark before a huge gust caused them to capsize.  They finished the race in ninth to end their regatta in tenth overall.

“It was gutting because if we were 20 metres behind it would have completely missed us and there was nothing we could do to stay upright!” Diamond explained.

“It’s been a fun and challenging week and we leave motivated to go again Rio – once the bruises have healed!”

The British Sailing Team’s Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves concluded their regatta  in 12th, Lucy Macgregor and Dave Evans were 21st, and Tom Phipps and Nikki Boniface were 24th.

via Euros medal success for Pink and Bithell | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA.

British Sailing Team confirms final Olympic Test Event selections | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA

British Sailing Team confirms final Olympic Test Event selections

Written by RYA | 13 July 2015

World Champion Thompson and European Champion Shaw round off the 15-strong British team to compete at Rio Test Event

The British Sailing Team today completed its line-up for the 2015 Olympic Test Event, with newly-crowned Laser World Champion Nick Thompson and RS:X European Champion Bryony Shaw finalising the team’s selections.

The Aquece Rio International Regatta (15-22 August 2015) is the second official Test Event for the sport of sailing, with a full Olympic-sized team of 15 British sailors set to compete against their international rivals across ten Olympic classes in what is the organisers’ final official dress rehearsal at the 2016 venue.

“To have won the European Championships in Mondello, Sicily, is a huge milestone on my road to Rio,” explained the 2008 Olympic bronze medal-winning windsurfer Shaw.

“Going into the medal race, the points of the top four were super close, so I was delighted to be able to perform under that much pressure and win the medal race. As soon as I crossed the finish line the celebrations began as the week had been long and tiring, with everyone having to deal with the drawn out postponements and hot temperatures.”

Shaw, aiming to qualify for her third Olympic Games, knows how important the Test Event can be in gaining experience of the unique Olympic environment.

“It is a huge honour to be selected and I look forward to being part of the elite, smaller-sized Olympic team where our resources and attention can be focussed on what it will take to win in this extremely tricky and varied sailing venue.”

Thompson, who claimed an emphatic Laser World Championship victory last week in Kingston, Canada, said that the Test Event is a key opportunity not only to perform at the Olympic venue, but to practice the build-up and routines that you might expect around the Games itself.

“As a team I think we’re doing a great job of really trying to treat this as an Olympics.  We’ll be spending a similar amount of time out there with a similar build up to it as if it were the Games.  Obviously I haven’t been selected for the Games itself yet, but I think it’s a good idea to do a practice run as if it were the case.

“With the Worlds that’s been tricky as it’s been quite close to this Test Event, but from now on it’s going to be all about focussing on that and trying to get fired up for the event as if it’s the Games itself.”

British Sailing Team at the Aquece Rio International Regatta:

Finn – Giles Scott

RS:X Men – Nick Dempsey

RS:X Women – Bryony Shaw

470 Men – Luke Patience & Elliot Willis

470 Women – Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark

49er – John Pink & Stuart Bithell

49erFX – Charlotte Dobson & Sophie Ainsworth

Nacra 17 – John Gimson & Hannah Diamond

Laser Radial – Alison Young

Laser – Nick Thompson

Selections were based on results at a range of international regattas, with selections in eight out of ten classes having been revealed at the conclusion of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland last month.

The selected British team comprises a mix of established Olympians and international medallists as well as new young talents eager for their first opportunity of an Olympic Games.

“I’m delighted to conclude our team selections for the Test Event, and to do so with a new World Champion and a new European Champion in our midst is particularly pleasing,” said RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.

“With just over a year to go until the Games, the Test Event provides a fantastic opportunity to build our understanding and familiarity of a notoriously challenging venue, and at the same time provides the sailors with the platform and support required to go out and perform on the Olympic waters.”

via British Sailing Team confirms final Olympic Test Event selections | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA.

Boating Business – The Kiwis are first to fly!

The Kiwis are first to fly!

14 Jul 2015

Emirates Team New Zealand have been out on the Solent trialling the newly converted foiling AC45 catamaran Photo: Shaun Roster

ACWS: Emirates Team New Zealand are the first international America’s Cup team have taken to the Solent to prepare for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) in Portsmouth.

Having sparred with the eventual winners of the 34th America’s Cup, Oracle Team USA, in a nail-biting duel until the very end, the New Zealand crew are determined to hit the ground running in the 35th ACWS.

For the Kiwi team, the trip to Britain has brought a first taste of sailing the newly converted foiling AC45 catamaran. It’s also a good opportunity to trial different crew members in different roles.

Saling director, Glenn Ashby said: “The Solent’s an interesting place. I think the tide and the currents are probably the thing that’s most interesting thing here. Guys like Ray [Davies] have spent a lot of time on the Solent before, so have got quite a lot of experience in that. I think where we’re going to be racing, off Portsmouth, will be a great venue. We’re really looking forward to it.”

He expects all six competing teams in the first America’s Cup World Series event will be equally motivated.

“This event will effectively be the first foiling fleet race of an America’s Cup World Series – or ever, basically! There could be some different manoeuvres and people trying different things. I think this first event could be one of the most exciting AC45 World Series events ever seen!”

The Emirates Team New Zealand is made up of Sailing Director Glenn Ashby, helmsman Peter Burling and the Olympic crew Blair Tuke, Ray Davies, Richard Meacham and Guy Endean.

via Boating Business – The Kiwis are first to fly!.

Boating Business – The biggest event in Portsmouth this year…

The biggest event in Portsmouth this year…

20 Jul 2015

The Japanese, American and UK teams sparring in the Solent last weekend – photo: Ian Roman

ACWS: The biggest event in Portsmouth this summer – and one of the most prestigious events in the world of sport – the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is just days away.

The concept of The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events was introduced during the 34th America’s Cup and nine events were held between 2011 and 2013 in a number of global locations.

The Portsmouth event will be managed and delivered by TEAMORIGIN Events, a division of TEAMORIGIN LLP, a company set up and chaired by Sir Keith Mills, GBE, in 2007 when he originally set his sights on bringing the America’s Cup back to Great Britain, where it all started.

Sir Keith is a shareholder and investor in Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) and has taken on the responsibility of hosting and delivering the ACWS events in Portsmouth in 2015 and 2016.

This will support BAR and allow Sir Ben and his team to focus on their job of winning the America’s Cup, and help make these world class events a success for Great Britain.

Hospitality packages

A range of hospitality packages ranging from single day experiences to four day and weekend options are available.

There is something to suit both sponsors and businesses or private individuals who want to entertain or be entertained at this world class sporting event.

To buy hospitality packages, email hospitality@teamorigin.com

Event partners and stakeholders

The event will encompass most of the City of Portsmouth’s existing visitor destinations like The Historic Dockyard, HMS Warrior and HMS Victory, the Mary Rose Museum, the Spinnaker Tower, Gun Wharf Quays and Southsea Castle.

The Portsmouth event will be able to offer significant partnership opportunities to business and media and Official Event Partners will be announced in due course.

For partnership opportunities, contact: partnership@teamorigin.com

The America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in world sport, and Britain has never won it.

The black schooner America won the first challenge and, to honour that victory, the event was renamed The America’s Cup and became a challenge trophy, open to sailing clubs of all nations.

After his success in helping Larry Ellison defend the 34th America’s Cup, Sir Ben Ainslie and his squad intend to rectify that original first defeat by bringing the America’s Cup home after the 35th America’s Cup, which will be sailed in Bermuda in 2017.

Six teams are in Portsmouth for this ACWS event – Oracle Team USA, Land Rover BAR, Softbank Team Japan and Artemis Racing. They’re racing in foiling AC45f catamarans that can reach 45m.p.h.

It’s going to be fast and furious…

If you can’t get down to Portsmouth this weekend to see the ACWS event live, BT Sport will be covering the racing live throughout the coming weekend.

The BBC will be showing highlights each evening.

www.americascup.com

via Boating Business – The biggest event in Portsmouth this year….

Seasonal maintenance: Eliminating chafe on ocean passages | Yachting News Report | The Business of Boat Ownership and Marina Berths

Seasonal maintenance: Eliminating chafe on ocean passages

BY ADMIN • JULY 7, 2015 • YACHT MAINTENANCE • COMMENTS (0) • 44

Chafe of running rigging such as sheets and halyards can be an immense problem during any voyage of more than a few hundred miles.

It’s worth noting that the problem can be at its worst when sailing downwind, or perversely, in very light airs, where the sails will tend to slat around in any kind of an ocean swell.

Never be tempted to underestimate the potential extent of this problem. Genoa sheets that are allowed to chafe on guard rails, for instance, can be destroyed in a couple of hundred miles and halyards can chew through chafe protection in a couple of weeks.

It’s crucial to pay attention to eliminating chafe in running rigging before embarking on an ocean passage of any significant length.

For sheets the solution is easy to arrange – just make sure that they are not allowed to come in contact with anything other than the sail, the genoa cars, any turning blocks in the system and the primary winches.

When sailing off the wind, an outboard sheet lead via a block on the toe-rail will keep sheets away from the guardrails, while also making for a better sail shape that will reduce wear and tear in the upper parts of the leech of the sail.

For halyards, a few hours of preparation time spent in advance can also pay big dividends. In particular, it’s worth examining the sheaves in the mast in advance of a long passage.

If any sharp edges are found then it’s worth removing the sheave in order to file the edges smooth.

Make sure headsail sheets touch only the sail, genoa cars, turning blocks and the primary winch – this is a good example.

The next stage is to splice a length of Dyneema chafe jacket over the halyard where it passes over the sheave. This slippery material acts in a similar manner to a lubricant to prevent damage to the rope.

In addition, in extreme cases where chafe still takes place it will also work as a sacrificial layer that will protect the load-bearing fibres beneath it. Similarly, spinnaker guys and genoa sheets need protection where they pass through the end of the pole. This is especially true if your route may involve several days of downwind sailing with the genoa constantly poled out.

It’s crucial to pay attention to eliminating chafe in running rigging before embarking on an ocean passage of any significant length.

It’s worth noting that spinnaker halyards on masthead rigs can be subject to considerable chafe where they exit the mast before passing through the turning block that’s attached to the masthead crane above the forestay. Check your arrangement carefully to ensure it doesn’t chafe against the mast wall and add halyard diverters if needed to route the line clear of sharp edges.

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New owners and fresh format for World Match Racing Tour | Yachting News Report | The Business of Boat Ownership and Marina Berths

New owners and fresh format for World Match Racing Tour

BY ADMIN • JULY 7, 2015 • HOMEMOSAIC, RACING • COMMENTS (0) • 32

The longest running professional sailing series, the World Match Racing Tour, has announced a new event and points format that more than doubles the programme to 19 events in the 2015/16 season. Adopting a similar model to the ATP World Tour of professional tennis, this year’s WMRT includes seven ‘World Championship’ events, similar to Grand Slam tennis events, plus an additional 12 ‘World Tour’ match races.

The ideal is that, while the World Match Racing Tour will remain arguably the hardest world championship to win in the sport of sailing, the ‘World Tour’ Events will provide one of the best pathways for future world champions to compete on a professional stage.

The M32 catamaran by Aston Harald Composite

 

WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance explains: “We aim to provide a platform for professional sailors to earn a living [this year WMRT will provide over $1.4m prize money across all events] as well as a gateway for up and coming sailors to compete at the highest level. You only have to look at the former World Match Racing Tour Champions since 2000 to see where it has taken them. Judging by the early results this year, it’s obvious we are going to see many more talented new skippers on the Tour this year…”

More action from the Royal Southern Match Cup © Paul Wyeth/pwpictures

After a number of years in Malaysian ownership, which saw the Tour gain a wider international audience, it has recently been acquired by a European company, Sweden’s Aston Harald AB. The new owner is also manufacturer of the M32 ultra-high performance catamaran and has announced plans to build fleets of identical boats to be based in the USA, Europe and Asia that will be used at future events.

Håkan Svensson, CEO and Owner of Aston Harald commented; “Conquering the World Match Racing Tour has proved one of the sport’s toughest challenges. With the rapid innovation of top-level sailboat racing and the growing popularity in multihull racing, we’re now in a position to help talented young sailors work toward a career at the highest level of the sport.” Pleasance added, “The acquisition is a very exciting development for the Tour. Over the last year, we have been looking at ways to bring multihull racing into the WMRT and the M32s by Aston Harald are the perfect solution to take the Tour to the next level of professional match racing.”

Multiple world champion Ian Williams in action on finals day at the Royal Southern Match Cup © Paul Wyeth/pwpictures

 

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Feeling 44 – Lifting Keel Version

Emotional finale for Volvo Ocean Race

Swan 54 – Compact Bluewater Cruiser

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The elegant Swan 115S superyacht

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via New owners and fresh format for World Match Racing Tour | Yachting News Report | The Business of Boat Ownership and Marina Berths.

Emotional finale for Volvo Ocean Race | Yachting News Report | The Business of Boat Ownership and Marina Berths

Emotional finale for Volvo Ocean Race

BY ADMIN • JULY 7, 2015 • FEATURES, HOMEMOSAIC, RACING • COMMENTS (0) • 68

The latest edition of this iconic fully-crewed round the world race, 40 years after it was founded as the Whitbread Round the World Race, has seen a number of significant milestones. The biggest of these was the use of identical one-design boats for the first time, which reduced costs for sponsors and consistently produced the closest competition the race has ever seen.

Team SCA could be a force to be reckoned with in the next edition of the race. Corinna Halloran / Team SCA / Volvo Ocean Race

Nevertheless, many familiar elements remained, not least the delicate balance between pushing the boat and crew as hard as possible in arduous conditions and the need to scale back the effort to prevent damage. It was a balance that the most experienced crew in the race, British double Olympic medallist Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team on Azzam, managed to perfection.

While they by no means dominated the podium, they achieved a top-three finish in all but two of the nine legs. It was an impressive performance that saw Walker’s team take the trophy at their third attempt.

“It’s an amazing feeling, so much hard work goes into it,” Walker told the assembled press at the finish in Gothenburg.

“My whole relationship with the race started as a kid with pictures of the boats on the wall. I did my first Volvo Ocean Race two editions ago and I really wasn’t sure if I’d be up to it. I wondered what the Southern Ocean would be like, lots of self-doubt, and it’s been a long, old road.

Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker with the trophy for which he has fought for almost a decade. Matt Knighton / Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing / Volvo Ocean Race

 

We’ve made a lot of mistakes and we’ve learned a lot of lessons and this time round we threw all that experience in place and it worked.”

However, this was also an edition of the race that should give hope to many of the other teams.

The Chinese entry, Dongfeng, with a team made up of mostly French short-handed stars, plus Chinese sailors, and managed by UK-based OC Sport, put up a stunning performance and would certainly have done better had a broken mast in the gruelling Southern Ocean section not dented their overall score.

A quick glance at the final scoreboard might suggest that the all-women crew on Team SCA were languishing well astern of the men in the other boats during the nine month event, with the exception of Team Vestas Wind that was wrecked in the southern Indian Ocean.

However, the overall scores mask just how close the racing was – for the most part there were only tiny differences in the speeds achieved by all the teams. In any case the women showed their potential by winning several in port races, as well as the offshore leg from Lisbon to Lorient. Their potential for a great result in the next edition of the race, which starts in late 2017, should therefore not be under estimated.

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via Emotional finale for Volvo Ocean Race | Yachting News Report | The Business of Boat Ownership and Marina Berths.

Understanding a race start | InBrief | e-Newsletters | News & Events | RYA

Understanding a race start British Sailing Team 470 sailor Anna Burnet talks us through this critical part of a race…Successful execution of the start is often the most influential factor in a sailing race, explains British Sailing Team 470 sailor Anna Burnet. This is particularly true for dinghy and inshore racing because a shorter race emphasises the need to start well and gain an early advantage on competitors.  There are a number of factors to take into account when considering how to approach a start. Implementing a pre-start plan is a great way of ensuring you have all the knowledge you need to start well and with the best chances for a successful first beat.  Within a pre-start plan, be sure to incorporate checks of rig set-up, wind patterns, line bias and transits.  Knowing where to focus attention within the starting sequence can be a difficult task and establishing a regular routine, such as below, will certainly help to enhance your confidence in the start.  Five minute, warning signalStart your stopwatch (preferably two stopwatches) and double check the committee boat for the course number and bearing to the windward mark. Take a head to wind bearing to compare the two numbers. This will highlight if the windward mark has been offset to one side of the beat, a factor that could be very important to your first decision.Four minute, preparatory signalMost importantly, note which flag is being used – P, I, U, Z or Black – check your Racing Rules as to which ones to watch out for!  The different preparatory flags will have an implication on your approach to the start line. For example, if the ‘black’ flag is used, you cannot cross the line in the last minute of the start and therefore you may need to line up further away and with enough space to safely manoeuvre behind the line.    Continue to check the wind bearing until as late as possible, to ensure that you are confidently in phase with the shift pattern. At this stage you should be aware of the first decision you are going to be making and how this will tie in with the first beat strategy.  One minute, preparatory flag downDepending on the flag being used, at this stage in the start you need to be in your desired starting position and lined up with enough room to accelerate onto the line. Ensure there is a constant stream of communication to the helm regarding time and distance to the line. If you have timed your run up as part of a pre-start routine, this can be used to call when to trigger the acceleration. Be prepared to react quickly if surrounding boats do decide to accelerate earlier than you anticipated.  Start, class flag downMaximum speed across the line, with an immediate focus on the sail set-up. This is much easier if you are pulling the sails in to the same markers as decided in the pre-start rig check. As the first decision has already been pre-empted, heads can generally remain in the boat and focussed on maintaining speed. Sailors who haven’t prepared for their first decision are likely to either miss an opportunity or lose speed as their focus wanders to what’s going on around them.    Even with the best preparation for a start, there is no guarantee that it will all go to plan. In the event of a setback, the key is to stay calm and revert to the information you have gained. Once out of danger, the next decision you make should revert to the priorities you had for the first beat and all will not be lost!  For more information about Racing Rules pick up a copy of the RYA Racing Rules 2013-2016   Find out more about Anna and the British Sailing Team at www.rya.org.uk/britishsailingteam/

via Understanding a race start | InBrief | e-Newsletters | News & Events | RYA.

Silverware fit for a Prince| Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015

Skipper Ian Walker and the rest of the victorious Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew have presented His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 trophy (full story below).

– Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing show off prizes to Crown Prince

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ALICANTE, Spain, July 9 – Skipper Ian Walker and the rest of the victorious Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew have presented His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 trophy.

Briton Walker described the meeting last week as the highlight of the visit that followed their victory in Gothenburg at the end of last month.

The all-conquering crew of eight also clinched the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series Trophy on June 27 in the Swedish port among several other victories including the IWC 24-Hour Speed Record Challenge and the Inmarsat Onboard Reporter Award, won by Matt Knighton (USA).

They also met the chairman of backers Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, during the visit to the team’s home country.

Walker believes that only part of the mission has been completed following victory in the nine-month offshore race – he still has an ambition to grow the sport of sailing in the region.

“Getting sailing on the front pages of the newspapers and encouraging school kids to read about and see it, it’s a great thing,” he said.

“But sailing’s not going to grow here without a lot of work at the grassroots level and I think that’s the challenge now; to take the message out into the schools and the clubs and to try to get kids in boats.

“It’s a great sport, it’s healthy, it’s outdoors and the climate’s fantastic, certainly nine months of the year – with ideal sailing conditions. Hopefully, we can use this win as a springboard to build on.

“And I think it’s already happening. You see more and more boats off the Corniche here in Abu Dhabi. But we’d really like to see that grow 10-fold over the next few years.”

The crew’s Emirati sailor, Adil Khalid, added: “This is the greatest moment of my life. I am immensely proud for my crewmates and my country.

“The United Arab Emirates flag has been flown proudly at every stopover throughout the race and now we have sealed a wonderful victory, our fans in the UAE and around the world can celebrate.”

Many have asked whether Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will return for a third Volvo Ocean Race campaign, but TCA Abu Dhabi has made it clear that no decision will be made for several months.

Walker added: “Hopefully, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Tourism & Culture Authority will come up with new ways to move sailing forward and we’ve created this fantastic brand. For sure I’d love to be involved again and I hope it moves forward in a way that I can be involved.

“Right now we’re just enjoying the moment, sharing it with as many people as we can. We’ll have a holiday and then we’ll take stock.”

The achievement of Walker and his men has been lauded by the campaign’s chief supporters.

“The Volvo Ocean Race is rightly regarded as the ‘Everest of Sailing’, the pinnacle of offshore sailing challenges, and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has made it to the top.” said Sheikh Sultan.

“From the start of the race in Alicante, it’s been an incredible competition in the face of some of the most challenging and dangerous conditions our planet has to offer.

“I am tremendously proud of our skipper Ian Walker, our Emirati sailor, Adil Khalid, and all Azzam’s crew for securing first place in the 2014-15 edition of the race.

“It is another landmark achievement for the United Arab Emirates and the team has represented our emirate with bravery, distinction, and skill.”

Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director of TCA Abu Dhabi, added: “The team has represented our country with pride as we competed against the best sailors in the world, and we’ve strengthened our position as a sailing nation in front of a global audience.

“I hope all the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing fans in Abu Dhabi, and around the world, join me in congratulating all the members of our victorious team.”

via Silverware fit for a Prince| Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015.