The six boats competing in the Volvo Ocean Race departed from Alicante, Spain yesterday and were immediately battered by rough seas and high winds while still in the Mediterranean. The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing‘s Azzam lost her mast only six hours and 85 nautical miles from the start of the race. Team Sanya withdrew from the race after reporting hull damage in over 40 knot winds and over 30 foot waves. The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) is a yacht race around the world, held every three years. The first leg is from Alicante, Spain to Capetown, South Africa. Thanks to Ulrich Rudofsky for passing the story along.