Today, Mike Sanderson, CEO and Skipper of Team Sanya, the Chinese entry in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, stood proudly alongside his team members on this important day for the team and showed off their new look race boat to the world.
In an unprecedented short period of time of just one and a half months, this new entry in the race has managed to recruit a world class team and put their Volvo Open 70 race boat through a refit and re-brand to ensure it was ready for sailing on Sunday 7th August 2011.
Sanderson has announced nine of his eleven sailing team members for the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race:
Mike Sanderson, Skipper
Cameron Dunn, Watch Leader
Chris Main, Watch Leader
Aksel Magdahl, Navigator
Richard Mason, Helm/Trimmer
David Swete, Helm/Trimmer (Under 30)
Andy Meiklejohn, Bow
Ryan Houston, Bow (Under 30)
Frankie Leonard, Media crew member
(Two further sailing team members are still to be announced)
UK, Hamble. 6th August 2011. Skipper Mike Sanderson and the crew of Team Sanya in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 - Tim Stonton/Volvo Ocean Race
Tiger, Teng Jiang He, has been working with the team for the past week and is the first Chinese sailor to take part in the crew selection trial process. Tiger will sail with the team during next week’s training and take part in the Rolex Fastnet race with Team Sanya.
Mike Sanderson commented on the team he has recruited so far. 'Despite starting this campaign late in the day, I am really excited about the team we have gathered together and that applies to both the sailing and shore team. Without realising it, we have a really young and ambitious sailing team – the average age is 33 and I am the oldest at 40!! – We have managed to bring together a combination of experience in all of the right areas as well a fresh and innovative approach and that feels really right for this team. We still have two sailing team members to announce and we have our first Chinese sailing team member, Tiger, on a trial with us now and he will compete in the Fastnet race with us so all is progressing really well.'
The team lined up today in their new Helly Hansen branded team clothing and will put the technical clothing through its first test during the Rolex Fastnet Race.
The Team Sanya boat carries an impressive new branding livery – displaying the multiple colours of the tropical Chinese holiday destination of Sanya – with the 8 colours in the logo displayed through brush strokes which represent the coloured tail feathers of the Phoenix – a mythical bird which carries a good luck status in China, as well as other parts of the world. Sanya, the southern-most city in China to be found on Hainan Island is a popular tourist destination and is using the platform of this team and the Volvo Ocean Race Host Port to raise profile and interest in this exciting venue.
The team now have a week to get their sailing up to speed before they take part in their first race – the Rolex Fastnet race – which starts on Sunday 14th August. In that race they will line up against two other Volvo Ocean Race competitors – the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Groupama Sailing teams.
Mike Sanderson closed with his views on the forthcoming race for the team. 'With the boat being so newly re-launched, the aim of the Fastnet is really just to draw a good line in the sand for the completion of the re-fit. Whatever the result, just getting the boat to the start line will be a great result for the team considering just five weeks earlier she was sitting on the dock in her previous life.' Volvo Ocean Race website Team Sanya website Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 is due to start on the 29 October in Alicante, Spain and will finish in Galway, Ireland in July 2012.
UK, Hamble. 5th August 2011. Team Sanya shore crew bring their Volvo Open 70 out of the boat shed at Hamble Yacht Services. - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 - Tim Stonton/Volvo Ocean Race