The high-tech racing yachts, with an estimated value of US$100m, will be
transported under guard through the dangerous Indian Ocean leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. Organizers of the 39,000km race said pirate attacks prompted its decision to protect the crew and six racing yachts.
The boats left Cape Town yesterday on the race`s second leg to Abu Dhabi, which requires navigating exceedingly dangerous waters off the Eastern African corridor. The solution is to transport the vessels under armed guard to the waters of Sharjah, UAE and an undisclosed safe port somewhere in the Indian Ocean, where they will be less than a day’s sail from Abu Dhabi.
“Once unloaded, race management will decide where exactly to re-start the race for a short competitive sprint into Abu Dhabi, which is hosting the event from December 31 to January 14,” said a statement “The sailors will not be on board the ship.”
Organizers said the scoring system on this leg would be different from previous legs. Eighty per cent of points will be accumulated through the safe haven port, and the other 20 per cent will be gained in the final race from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi.
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