Think Forrest Gump, think Bubba Gump, think big wide avenues with sweeping oak trees a hundred years old, it’s the charm of the South, it’s ‘Ya take care y’all’, it’s Team Sanya in Savannah.

Not a planned stop, though with Madagascar, Maldives and Tauranga added to their list of race stopovers, Team Sanya and their ‘extra for experts’ race routing, have again accepted their situation quite apart from the plans, and embraced their current two week pit stop in Savannah. Though pit stop would perhaps be an understatement, with the fantastic facilities they have been able to utilize here at Thunderbolt Marine, Savannah. With high tech sheds over 100 feet in height and length, a travel lift and state of the art ventilation systems for optimal spraying conditions, Team Sanya have been able to take this opportunity to carry out some very necessary maintenance and repair jobs to Sanya Lan.

'Given the adversity and diversity we have faced thus far in the race which has given rise to some unexpected ‘big’ jobs, it feels as if we are continuously playing catch up on the overall job list’ reveals Nick Bice, Shore Team Manager. ‘The extent and nature of jobs we have been able to achieve because of the facilities here at Thunderbolt Marine and the hospitable people of the South has been excellent’ says Nick.The crack that was revealed when Sanya Lan was hauled out of the water in New Zealand was certainly sizeable at about 1.5m, with damage going through to the core. That repair, as well as the repair to the damaged area around the rudder bottom bearing is almost complete. Team Sanya has had new rudders made which should be fitted within the next few days and essentially be a ‘plug and play’ scenario.

Team Sanya brought in a few extra people to assist with the workload, including some boat builders from New England Boatworks for the boat building repairs. They have also been assisted by the onsite Thunderbolt Marine paint team with the spray and non-skid application to the deck.

'Whilst the repairs are our main priority, we have maximized our efforts on all of Sanya Lan’s areas, restoring her as best as she can be, and in a competitive position for the upcoming racing’, Nick Bice reflects.

The team are disappointed to have missed out on the last two legs but are confident and poised to carry out some aggressive racing when they rejoin the fleet in Miami.

'For sure we were devastated at the events that unfolded en route to Brazil, but come the Miami Inport Race day, we will have achieved great things to see Sanya Lan return to the race in Miami fit and ready’ states David Duff, Chief Operations Officer. Certainly no mean feat, given the difficulties Team Sanya encountered were when they were only just 5 days out from New Zealand.

Savannah does pose some challenges to Team Sanya however, with interesting waterways of varying depths and tidal flows to negotiate as they navigate out of the Savannah River into the Atlantic Ocean. Though, once through there it is just over 400 miles for Sanya Lan and her reunion with the Volvo Ocean Race in Miami where her aspirations of triumphant moments await. The sailing team and boat plan to depart from Savannah on 11th May and arrive into Miami on the 12th May ready for the build-up week before the next leg start and Transatlantic to Lisbon.

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