Walker in race against time for Ocean start

Ian Walker
Ian Walker
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Plans are afoot to demolish Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club and rebuilding it along with new flats. 'Picture: Google Maps

REVEALED: Sailing club set to be demolished for new club house – and 12 flats

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Warsash skipper Ian Walker and his crew are in a race against time to get their crippled Abu Dhabi yacht ready for the restart of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town next weekend.

The Volvo 70 yacht arrived by ship in the South African stopover port on Wednesday after being dismasted soon after the start in Alicante early last month.

Walker’s shore team now have to prepare the mast and hi-tech rigging in time for testing ahead of the in-port race a week tomorrow, and the start of the second 5,430-mile leg to Abu Dhabi the following day.

‘It isn’t quite how we wanted to arrive in Cape Town,’ said Walker.

‘It’s taken a lot of work to get organised and get her here safely.

‘There is one more stage to go – to cure the new rigging.’

‘It’s another step on the journey,’ he added, saying the boat should be back in the water by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Team Sanya, who also arrived aboard a freighter on Wednesday, face a major job to repair damage to the yacht’s hull suffered early in the leg.

And the third retiree from the first leg, Puma, dismasted in the South Atlantic, are moored off the remote island of Tristan da Cunha awaiting a ship to take them to Cape Town. The dramas which have halved the fleet have overshadowed the race itself, whose first leg was won by Telefonica.