Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Endure

Volvo Ocean Race - Team Sanya reflect and prepare

by Volvo Ocean Race on 13 Feb 2012
Team Sanya, skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand at the start of leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Mike Sanderson, Team Sanya, reflects on the race to date, further igniting the Chinese population's love for sailing and preparations for Leg 4.

Mike:

It only seems like yesterday when we were in Beijing at the launch of Team Sanya. In Volvo Ocean race terms it was 'yesterday' - while all the other teams had launched their new boats we were announcing a team! But I remember thinking then I wonder what will have happened in the race by the time we get to Sanya?

How will we have gone? Who will be winning? How will the sailing have been? To say that never in my wildest dreams did I think that the road to get here to Sanya was going to be quite as bumpy as it has been would be the understatement of the year!

Although 300 miles behind and arriving in late on a Sunday evening, the reception that we received into Sanya confirmed what everyone had been saying to us - that for the Chinese public it is all about competing in the race and arriving in a good state into Sanya and for doing that for them had made us champions in their eyes. We, of course, are competing for different reasons.

The whole team is incredibly competitive and, let's be honest, we don't enter races believing we are going to constantly come last. Yes, we knew that when a leg turns into a drag race that our number would be up and the most likely number for us would be a sixth place finish, but this leg we thought there would be enough variables to really mix it up.

On this particular occasion instead of being offered massive opportunities to catch up, we were the ones that were the biggest losers, and so very quickly our five-and-half-mile deficit to Abu Dhabi became 20, 50, 100, 150 as we slipped back into a totally different weather pattern.

But that’s enough about the last leg. Team Sanya are about having nine legs and 10 in-port races to create two or three 'special' moments in the race. In Leg 2 we almost pulled off what could have been something very special and we just need to hope that more opportunities like that come along.

Life in Sanya, our home town, has been hectic. From the minute the press scrummage happened as we were walking to the stage on our arrival night, we have seen for ourselves that to keep 1.2 billion people informed on news and sport takes a lot of journalists and I think most of them have come to Sanya this week, with what it sounds like the rest turning up next week.

There has been only so much I have been able to do as my Chinese is pretty limited and then there is also the fear that the odd swear word that Tiger has taught us might slip in there!

The weather has been lovely, the families have been doing some wonderful sightseeing and the boys have been slipping in some good surfing safaris on their days off. All the R&R has come to a grinding halt today as the boys are all back on deck now through to the leg start next weekend.

During the sailing team's break, the shore crew have been working tirelessly on giving the boat the much wanted 'love' that it has missed out on over the last two very different legs that we have had.

Meanwhile, I have been working with (navigator) Aksel (Magdahl) and the guys at Farr Yacht Design really trying to look at our performance, not so much against the fleet, more against ourselves, really just digesting all the thousands of points of data that we collate during a leg.

No real point comparing ourselves to the fleet until we really know that we are going as well as we can and have done before. Nothing earth-shattering to report, but lots of little bits that will hopefully add up to a better performance from the boat on this next leg.

So Auckland here we come, it's looking like a really difficult leg again, lots of tight reaching and upwind work, so not exactly ideal for us on what we learnt from the last few weeks, but we will go and give it heaps of course! There could be some good opportunities through the Doldrums, but I won't talk about that too much as the Malacca straits weren't exactly helpful!

An old trek horse like me can turn on a decent burst of speed when it gets a sniff of home.

Keep cheering for us! It's greatly appreciated.
Mike

Volvo Ocean Race website

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race- Official Video of latest edtion
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during July The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012. This documentary tracks the fleet during their amazing around the world journey. Catch all the drama and action as the teams sail a 39,000 nautical miles through the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, M
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- All-Women crew announced for the 2014-15 edition
The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest co The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest company SCA announced they would enter a women’s crew for the next edition in 2014-15. 'The lack of women in the last few editions of the race has meant we haven't been representing half the population of the human race' - Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race, CEO
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- And when the race is over.... + Video
Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. She will visit the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca. Sponsored by the Mallorcan footwear company Camper, the return of the joint Spanish and New Zealand flagged boat, marks the end of a round the world adventure that started with the yacht’s baptism at the RCNP in September 2011 and the race start from A
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Calling up the Reinforcements
They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, who were given the chance to prove they could step up to challenges as big as the Southern Ocean, often with barely any notice. Be it an email with a subject line 'get your boots ready' or a hurried face-to-face with the skipper just minutes before the st
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most success The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most successful, CEO Knut Frostad said on Thursday, with hundreds of thousands of fans visiting Galway in Ireland for a buoyant finale and outstanding growth across media platforms set to be confirmed once final data is in.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Sanderson wants to go again
Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in la Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in late 2014 when he expects to return for another campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race. Sanderson skippered ABN AMRO ONE to victory in 2005-06 and while his race this time with Sanya was not the same glittering success he is determined it will not be his final appearance in the Volvo
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
'It's been an amazing adventure, a fantastic tour, and a great race' - Brad Marsh The title ‘hero’ does not rest easy on the shoulders of Groupama bowman Brad Marsh, but most agree that it is the best way to describe the Kiwi who repaired a sinking yacht, saved a broken rig and scaled a 31-metre mast in a storm front.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history thanks to Groupama's debut victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here we profile the charismatic French sailor for whom perfection is never good enough.
Posted on 10 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Selected Awards announced at Formal Prizegiving
Camper's Hamish Hooper saw nine months of hard work pay off as he was crowned Media Crew Member of the Volvo Ocean Race The selected award category winners were announced at the final formal Volvo Ocean Race prizegiving in Galway Ireland. We present a gallery of images and video of the category winners and their feats including the Media Crew member Award, the Rookie Award, the Seamanship Award, the Shore Crew Award as well as the Designer Award and Speed Trophy presentation.
Posted on 9 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Formal Prizegiving - Racing Award winners
The racing award winners and crews were announced at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland The racing award winners were recognised at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland after the conclusion of the InPort race on Saturday. All six crews were presented with overall awards or place momentos. The InPort Trophy was awarded as well, the speed record trophy was also awarded.
Posted on 8 Jul 2012