Volvo Ocean Race: Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi team win first leg

Luke Parkinson, Adil Khalid and Roberto Bermudez of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Luke Parkinson, Adil Khalid and Roberto Bermudez helped Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing win the first of nine legs in the race

Briton Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing won the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante to Cape Town.

The Emirates team, skippered by Walker, edged into South Africa ahead of Chinese rivals Dongfeng Race Team after 25 days at sea.

Walker remained at the helm and did not sleep for the closing 48 hours of the 6,487-nautical mile stage.

Dongfeng closed to within three nautical miles but could not catch the leaders.

Walker was in charge of another Abu Dhabi entry in 2011-12 but his first-leg hopes were scuppered on the opening night when the mast snapped in a Mediterranean storm.

The all-women crew of Team SCA, who led in the early stages of the race, are expected to arrive on Friday.

All the yachts were ordered to navigate around an ice exclusion zone after a 300-metre-long iceberg was spotted by race organisers.

Leg two, from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, will start on 19 November.

The nine-leg race comprises seven teams, who will compete almost 39,000 nautical miles, visiting 11 ports across every continent and finishing in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 27 June 2015.

About the Volvo Ocean Race
The global event takes nine months to complete and covers 38,739 nautical milesOne nautical mile is equal to 1.15 land miles and is used for navigating and charting
The race is regarded as crewed sailing's toughest testThe event was previously called the Whitbread Round the World Race
Read more about the raceexternal-link