On Friday 11th May, Team Sanya set sail from Savannah, Georgia, USA and will sail the 400 miles down the coast to Miami to re-join the Volvo Ocean Race fleet and prepare for the PORTMIAMI InPort race which will take place on Saturday 19th May.
The team are on edge, anxious and committed to get back into the racing action and show what this team is capable of achieving over the remaining racing opportunities still to come in this thrilling event.
During the challenging Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajai, 5 days after leaving Auckland heading into the Southern Ocean, in first place leading the fleet, the team suffered a catastrophic breakage of one of their rudders and had to turn back to New Zealand as the bearings were mangled and this prevented the use of the emergency rudder system.
On lifting the boat out of the water in Tauranga, NZ, they also discovered a crack in the hull, spelling the end to, not only Leg 5 but also Leg 6 from Itajai to Miami, for the unfortunate team.
The shipping options and timings were not on their side so they chose the only solution which was to ship the race boat and team equipment straight from New Zealand to Savannah, USA with the support of race sponsors DHL and Team Shipping Partner Maersk Line.
The boat arrived in Savannah bang on schedule on 27th April and the shore team, led by David Duff and Nick Bice, were ready and waiting to get stuck into putting ‘Sanya Lan’ back into fighting form.
The repairs were made and the team used the opportunity of the awesome boatyard conditions at Thunderbolt Marine to complete all the extra jobs needed to put her back into tip top shape.
The sailing team arrived back into town after their break with tales of fitness challenges achieved during their time off and it was clear they were all race fit and ready for action.
* The 39,000-nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race is widely regarded as professional sailing’s premier offshore event. It visits 10 ports around the world after starting in Alicante, Spain in October last year and is scheduled to finish in Galway, Ireland on 7th July.
The Miami stopover will see a return to action of the entire six-strong fleet following ‘Sanya Lan’s’ repairs in Savannah. The fleet will set sail for the next stopover in Lisbon, Portugal on Sunday 20th May.
Mike Sanderson, CEO and Team Skipper, commented, “For sure it has been an immensely frustrating time for us all. We cannot help but be glued to following the race action of the rest of the fleet and wondering how we would have fared and where we would be – but now is the time to get back into it and prove what a force we can still be on the water. There are four InPort races and three very exciting legs left in this race yet and plenty of opportunities for us to achieve our team objectives. We can’t wait to get back into racing mode.”
The team plans to depart from Savannah on the morning of Friday 11th May and is scheduled to arrive into Miami during Saturday 12th May ready to re-join their race competitors.
Chinese Team Sanya sailor, Teng Jiang He (Tiger), has used the time back in his home town of Guangzhou to hone his own sailing skills, taking part in a dinghy sailing advancement course and whilst in China, he was also awarded the Chinese Sailor of the Year accolade. His award was handed out at the 2012 Asian Marine and Boating Awards, held at the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show.
On their trip they will be joined by US/Turkish sailing legend Bora Gulari. Bora is the ex Moth dinghy World Champion and was awarded Rolex US Sailing Sailor of the Year in 2010. Bora is often referred to as ‘Master of the Moth’ and still holds the world speed record in this class for 30.31 knots – impressive in a miniature carbon rocket that weighs less than 60 pounds. Volvo Ocean Race photographer Paul Todd and Volvo Cars cameraman Marc Bow will cover the Trip with stills and moving imagery.
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