Walker first casualty of leg five
SAILING: Leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race got underway yesterday with each of the six skippers predicting extreme conditions for the first few days of the 6,700 nautical-mile course from Auckland to Itajai in Brazil.
Within six hours, Ian Walker and the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team were the first to deliver on the expectations by suspending racing due to a broken bulkhead incurred as they reached open waters outside the shelter of the Waitemata Harbour and surrounding islands.
The only Kiwi skipper in the race made good on home waters as Mike Sanderson on Team Sanya won the start and tore ahead of the fleet off the Auckland city waterfront and brought the pursuing pack out to sea before he was reeled in on the route out towards Great Barrier Island.
After the local Emirates Team, New Zealand-crewed Camper entry won Saturday’s In-port Race, the overall standings have tightened on the points table though Iker Martinez’ Telefonica remains overall leader, followed by Franck Cammas’ Groupama 4 and Chris Nicholson’s Camper in third.
This latest leg, which marks the halfway stage, is likely to be the most decisive and probably the toughest stage of the 39,000 mile race.
CRICKET: Cricket Ireland last night confirmed that John Mooney has been ruled out of the remainder of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers currently being held in the UAE. The North County all-rounder suffered a torn hamstring during Ireland’s 17-run win against Scotland yesterday in Dubai. Ireland coach Phil Simmons will apply to the Event Technical Committee for a replacement for Mooney.