The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority’s (ADTA) yachting crew, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is making its competitive debut at Cowes Week.
The black ‘Azzam’ yacht and its 11-strong international crew will be unveiled to crowds at the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, which commenced on Saturday and will run for eight days. Immediately following the Isle of Wight event, the team will take part in the 608-mile Rolex Fastnet Race on 14 August, which will see yachts travel from the Spanish port of Alicante to Galway, Ireland.
Of the Isle of Wight event, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker, said; “It will be great to test ourselves against other teams and benchmark how far we’ve come, and equally importantly, how far we still have left to go. We’re rounding the final bend in our preparations and the Fastnet is going to play an important role in ensuring race-readiness.
“We’ll all be looking to flex our muscles, while trying to gain competitive insights. It is very much a real-time warm up for when we line up in Alicante this October at the start of the Volvo Ocean Race.”
While in Cowes, ADTA is promoting its hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in a waterfront ‘Destination Village’, currently undergoing construction on Abu Dhabi’s corniche. A scale model of the village will be on show in ADTA’s hospitality tent, Cowes Yacht Haven, where regatta-goers can also sample other aspects of Arabian culture, such as henna painting, calligraphy and falconry.
ADTA will also award the Abu Dhabi Trophy for the regatta’s Big Boat race on 11 August.
“The aim is to give Abu Dhabi front-of-mind association with big boats and sailing festivities in the run-up to our end-of-year hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet and to further recognition of our capital as a winter sailing destination,” said Dayne Lim, ADTA’s Product Development Director.