Team Sanya celebrated Chinese New Year’s Eve by leading a full strength Volvo Ocean Race fleet off the start line on the 3,051-nautical mile Leg 3 second stage from the Maldives to their home port in China.

In hot and humid tropical conditions the fleet got away cleanly on schedule at 0800 UTC on Sunday (1300 local time in the Maldives). Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG had taken up the most northerly position, shadowed by overall race leader Team Telefónica skippered by Iker Martínez, with CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand at the opposite end of the start line.

Ken Read summed up the mood on-board PUMA’s Mar Mostro, “Well it finally feels like we are sailing around the world again at least we are not day racing anymore” and added “we have got our work cut out for us here this is a big leg for us.”

Meanwhile Mike Sanderson and the crew of Team Sanya look forward to a homecoming to remember in the Chinese city of Sanya on the island of Hainan, in the words of Mike Sanderson “Sanya here we come!” The boats will take around two weeks to complete Leg 3 second stage with an estimated arrival in Sanya on or around February 6.

Quote – CHRIS NICHOLSON, Skipper, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand
"Pretty much went to plan there that start. We were on the line fairly early and had a bit of time to kill but managed it pretty nicely and were left on our own up towards the flag end. Just able to foot down over the fleet and popped out here first.”
 
FRANCK CAMMAS, Skipper, Groupama sailing team [FRENCH – English translation]
"The first hour can be rather tactical, with some going straight, and some tacking. You have to open your eyes and use the wind you have, because it’s already different from the grids. You have to be open. ”
 
Quote – KEN READ, Skipper, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG
"Well it finally feels like we are sailing around the world again at least we are not day racing anymore and we wanted the left and we are up to the left of the group and it is going to be a tricky leg, lots you know, light, medium, reaching, running, no running of course not but we have got our work cut out for us here this is a big leg for us.”
G/V on-board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing SOT “Nice puff here now, gonna sail sixties – 60, 62”
 
Quote – IAN WALKER, Skipper, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
"Yeah the start was alright the guys in-shore have made a short term gain but they are coming down to us now. So yeah nice clear air it is all good.”

Quote – Iker Martinez, Skipper, Team Telefónica
[SPANISH – English translation]
"We have the leg to China, well, it’s a long leg, we will probably have to sail up wind a lot with light and medium winds. This is a condition we haven’t yet sailed that much and we will have to see how we perform.”
 
Quote – Mike Sanderson, Skipper, Team Sanya
"Yeah it is nice to get away you know that start doesn’t mean much in this longer leg but it is nice to get away cleanly and Sanya here we come!”

 
SOURCE: www.bymnews.com  
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