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03 December 2023

McIlroy, Walker in 'world's longest distance' selfie

Walker congratulated McIlroy (File)

By Wam

The world’s longest distance selfie was taken on Friday, connecting thousands of miles between Rory McIlroy, the world’s No1 golfer, and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker.

McIlroy, who is chasing Martin Kaymer in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, discussed winning strategies with Walker as he steered the iconic racing yacht Azzam across the Indian Ocean.

Walker, currently pursuing Chinese boat 'Dongfeng' on Leg Three of the Volvo Ocean Race, congratulated McIlroy on his hole-in-one, which took place on Hole 15 in front of an Azzam backdrop – his first on the European Tour.

Before the ‘surf & turf’ selfie commenced, McIlroy questioned the champion skipper about his motivation and how he keeps going for such a long period of time.

Walker told him, "Same as you on the course – the motivation is to win!"

The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be the 12th running of the 40-year-old event, which started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round-the-World Race.

The race started on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.

The 38,739-nautical mile route will also include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Brazil, Newport, Rhode Island (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). A 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague is scheduled between France and Sweden.