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Around the World with Harken’s Tech Team - Part 2

VOR65 service video, episode 2: Abu Dhabi

Do you like extreme sailing? Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes?  

Take a glimpse into the lives of Harken’s Tech Team as they travel the world carrying out service work on the most exciting race boats in the world!

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Follow us on our socials Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and check out our website news for regularly updated with never seen before, behind the scenes, videos, articles and photos from all the action on the ground. 

Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi stopover



 Tech Team Abu Dhabi Mug Shot


Complete required service and maintenance work on all seven Volvo Ocean Race boats to prepare them for Leg three from Abu Dhabi to Sanya.


The boats arrive…

The first boat into Abu Dhabi was Team Brunel who overtook Team Dongfeng just fifty 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 after a long 5,220 nautical miles which, after such a distance, is really 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, with a real sense of calm around the Boatyard and amongst 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 that there are three types of service that may need to be carried out at a Volvo stopover, the level of which is determined by many factors (see our previous report from Cape Town for more details).

For Abu Dhabi a Partial Service was deemed necessary. This involves a full winch inspection and clean as well as a visual inspection of the pedestals and gearbox’s. To start with the Harken Team split up and started working on Brunel and Dongfeng, as they were 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 and wet and therefore hard on the equipment, the hardware all appeared to be in relatively good condition.

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

 All winches were inspected, pawl springs changed, re-lubricated and reassembled onboard, the pedestal system was visually inspected but no real work was required and 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 and keeps boat hulls fast and clean) so they could polish their hulls to the best finish possible for ultimate speed through the water.    

Next stop Sanya, China January 25th – February 3rd

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