Harken Tech Team in Abu Dhabi for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race

The boats arrive

The first boat into Abu Dhabi was Team Brunel who overtook Dongfeng Race Team just 50 miles from the finish line! Team Brunel went from 15 nautical miles astern to a mile ahead and made it to the finish 16 minutes before Dongfeng which after 5,220 nautical miles is quite astounding.

Work begins

Hot and sandy! A justified description for the weather and climate conditions we experienced during our time in Abu Dhabi.

This was a relatively easy stop for the Boatyard. As time constraints were not a big problem, there was a real sense of calm around the Boatyard and among the teams. From arrival, race start was 22 days away, giving the teams a fair bit of time to prepare the boats for the next leg.

In our previous report, we outlined the three types of service that might be needed at a Volvo stopover (See our previous report from Cape Town for more details).

For Abu Dhabi a Partial Service level was deemed necessary. This involved a full winch inspection and clean as well as a visual inspection of the pedestals and gearboxes. To start with, the Harken team split up and began work on Brunel and Dongfeng, the first boats into port. We removed all winches and took them to the workshop in the Boatyard for cleaning and inspection. Although the beginning of the leg was very windy, wet, and hard on the equipment, the hardware all appeared to be in relatively good condition.

Some of the boats had sailed over 30,000 hard miles (including training), so a few of the parts were showing signs of wear and were replaced.

All winches were inspected, pawl springs changed, relubricated and reassembled onboard. The pedestal system was visually inspected, but no real work was required. We have scheduled the MX pedestals for a full service in Sanya.

We also supplied many bottles of Mclube Antifoul alternative to all teams (a high-gloss polish that inhibits marine growth below the waterline), so they could polish their hulls to the best finish possible, and keep them fast and clean for ultimate speed through the water.

Next stop Sanya, China 1/25 – 2/3