Big ambitions: Mike Sanderson wants to become a double champion Photo: AP
Mike Sanderson has set his sights on becoming the first skipper since Cornelius Van Rietschoten to win the Volvo Ocean Race twice but is holding out little hope of fulfilling that ambition over the next nine months.
As skipper of ABN AMRO 1, he swept to a resounding victory in 2005-06 winning six of the nine legs. His campaign was well-funded which meant a brand new boat, pick of the world’s best sailors and plenty of preparation time.
Five years later he is back as skipper of Team Sanya with a Chinese funded campaign announced just five months ago which meant making do with an old boat, the old Telefonica Blue boat, and a mad panic to get to the start line in Alicante.
This late entry forced him to realign his expectations and get used to the fact that he will not be required at Volvo Ocean Race prizegivings in the same way as last time.
"I am being brutally honest and realistic about our expectations," said the 40 year-old New Zealander who was one of the key players at Team Origin before being sacked by boss Sir Keith Mills five months before it was disbanded.
"We should come last in every leg and any time we do better than that, we will be celebrating. I have thought quite a lot about how different it will be this time round and think it will be hard but we need to make sure we stay strong to our goals."
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