Published: Thursday, 13 November 2014

After the riveting finale to Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race, where Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing finished first – a mere 12 minutes ahead of Dongfeng Race Team, the fleet is gearing up for Leg 2. The second section of the race will start on Nov 19 and take the sailors from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, 6,125 nautical miles. In all, the boats will cover 38,487nm, visiting 11 ports in total.

Volvo Ocean Race Teams Gear Up For Leg 2

(Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Leg 2 has been problematic in the past due to threats of attack from pirates in the Indian Ocean. In the 2011-2012 edition, the boats were shipped from the Maldives to Sharjah, UAE to avoid what was then a dangerous route.

Volvo Ocean Race Teams Gear Up For Leg 2 1

(Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Since then the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean has decreased dramatically following pan-national intervention and the only activity that has been recorded recently has been in the far west, well outside the route of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet.

The event’s security experts gave the all clear this week. Race CEO Knut Frostad and Race Director Jack Lloyd will continue to work with the event’s maritime security experts, monitoring the situation on a daily basis.

“If anything changes regarding the risks on this leg – and the next – then we can change the plans at any time,” says Frostad. “The safety of the sailors is, of course, paramount. We are not experts in this area of maritime security but we work closely with those who are and their advice has been that we’re good to take this course of action.”

Volvo Ocean Race Teams Gear Up For Leg 2 2

(Photo: Francisco Vignale/MAPFRE/Volvo Ocean Race)

“Since 2011 the level of piracy has changed markedly,” says Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer for Dryad Maritime, which offers expert advice to the race. “In fact, in the route that the fleet is going, there have been no reports of piratical activity in 2014 and considerably longer than that.”

A number of things have reduced the levels of piracy around the world including better security support on the water, more armed guards onboard vessels and much improved compliance to security advice.