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Volvo Ocean Race inadvertently reveals secret port through photos

Posted on 24 December 2011 by Valencia Sailing

With the piracy threat being such an important issue in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race one would imagine that organizers would take each and every precaution necessary in order to protect the fleet. For that reason, according to their website, they introduced “a series of security measures because of the threat of pirates operating in a vast area off the coast of Somalia.”

As a result, the five yachts still racing are not sailing directly to Abu Dhabi but “heading towards a safe haven port, where they will be loaded onto a ship for transportation through the worst affected waters and on to a point off the Sharjah coast, where they will resume racing to Abu Dhabi.”

According to the same story, “for reasons of security, the identity of the loading port is not being disclosed, which is why the Stealth Zone has been implemented.”

All these measures are understandable but it is beyond our understanding why the same organization would ever take photos of the shore crews setting up the cradles in the secret port and publish them without taking all the necessary precautions and checks that these are perfectly safe for publication.

The original photo (that we altered for obvious reasons) in combination with another one showing the national flag of the country allowed to pinpoint the exact location of the "secret" port in 5 minutes

In fact, the original photo above (that we altered for obvious reasons) in combination with another one where a national flag of the country was visible on another docked boat allowed us to pinpoint the exact location of the “safe haven port” in 5 minutes. Still, it is probably far fetched to think that Somali pirates would have ever seen those photos (removed by now) but it is puzzling that photos that could even have a remote connection with the port would EVER be made public!

They’d better be more careful next time!!

3 Comments For This Post

  1. hulahoop Says:

    I thought Facebook was for girls?

  2. stgeorges70 Says:

    I speculated it was Diego Garcia, as well, due to the military presence and infrastructure. Will be interesting to see how Leg 3 is or is not affected by the messaging from Iran about it’s ability to shut down the Straight.

  3. Steph Says:

    Well, now with Sanya crossing the Equator without having reached the safe haven port, we all know that it is NOT (anymore?) Diego Garcia since Diego García is located south of the Equator!
    Whether they have changed the location further to the inadvertently disclosure or DG was not the correct location, the fact is that it is somewhere else.


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