[QODLink]
Sport
Volvo Ocean race enters 'stealth zone'
Sailors vanish off the radar as the Volvo Ocean Race steers into an anti-piracy stealth zone.
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2011 15:28
The 'stealth zone' is one of many safety measures to protect sailors from the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia [GALLO/GETTY]

French team Groupama became the first boat to reach the so-called "stealth zone'' of the Volvo Ocean Race on Thursday, an area where the yachts can not be tracked by the public as they head for an undisclosed location to avoid possible pirates.

Groupama was more than 80 nautical miles ahead of the other four boats in the second leg of the round-the-world race, organisers said, as the yacht slipped into the area where the boats positions will be kept secret from the public.

"It's fast and noisy and very wet, with a lot of water on deck,'' said skipper Franck Cammas, who will celebrate his 39th birthday on Thursday.

"The helmsmen love steering in these conditions.''

American team Puma were second, followed by overall leaders Telefonica in third, Camper in fourth and Abu Dhabi in fifth.

Safety measures

The boats set off from Cape Town and are headed for a secret "safe haven'' port, from which they will be transported to a location near Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, before continuing toward Abu Dhabi.

The stealth zone and undisclosed port are part of the measures to avoid pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The teams are expected to arrive at the port in the next seven to 10 days, with the leg finishing in Abu Dhabi sometime next month.

Chinese team Sanya was forced out of the current stage of the 39,000-nautical mile race, which will finish in July next year, because of a rigging problem.

The boat is undergoing repairs in Madagascar, with the team planning to resume the race in Leg 3 to their home port of Sanya.

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.