Wave damages yacht mid-race

Ian Walker, Azzam skipper on phone
Yacht captain Ian Walker makes a call after being forced to suspend racing Photo: Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

Hampshire skipper Ian Walker has been forced to pull out of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 2012 to repair the bow of his yacht 'Azzam'. Walker from Warsash and his crew were only five hours into the 5th leg of the race from Auckland to Brazil. The yacht's J4 bulkhead - a wall below deck - was damaged when it hit a large wave.

Ian Walker from the UK at the helm - Auckland
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing at the start of leg 5 Credit: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

The 7,000 mile leg from Auckland in New Zealand to Itajai in Brazil is through the notoriously dangerous Southern Ocean and the crew decided it would be safer to repair the yacht before rejoining the fleet, and continuing with the race.