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Abu Dhabi boat suffers hull damage in Volvo Ocean Race


AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) -- A fourth boat in the Volvo Ocean Race's battered fleet was facing a treacherous journey to a safe haven for repairs on Friday after suffering more damage in the brutal conditions of the Southern Ocean.

Abu Dhabi's Azzam, which already had to seek refuge early in leg 5 to fix a broken sail mounting, reported significant hull damage. That left skipper Ian Walker with the dilemma of whether to limp on toward the next stopover Itajai or take another pit stop.

The Brazilian port of Itajai is 3,500 miles away in southern Pacific conditions that includes waves up to 25 feet high and winds gusting up to 60 miles an hour.

French leg leaders Groupama and U.S.-led Puma were approaching another huge storm Friday before rounding the notorious Cape Horn on the tip of South America.

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There's four more legs until the race ends in early July in Galway, Ireland.