Mike Sanderson on the VOR: Cape Town

Mike Sanderson on the VOR: Cape Town

Wednesday November 16 2011 Author: Mike Sanderson Location: none selected

Well I have always loved arriving into Cape Town, I have many fond memories, coming second in here on Merit Cup in 1997 but mainly the huge moment of winning the first leg of the 2005/2006 Volvo Ocean Race on ABN AMRO One. When you win the first leg you never know until it's over whether you are going to continue the tradition of the winner of the first leg going on to win the race or be the first one to change history. Luckily enough for us we where the victors in 2006, but seeing Table Mountain for the first time this week from a South African Airlines plane wasn't quite the same! Yes I was a lot less smelly and I was lucky enough to be travelling with my family, but apart from that it sucked... I was supposed to be racing in here on the mighty Sanya Lan with all my crew mates, not standing in the customs queue pretending I was coming here on holiday!

But what has happened has happened, the fact that our withdrawal from the leg was a true accident and not something that we inflicted on ourselves by way of a choice we had made or a modification or development of the boat that had gone wrong has let me put my mind at rest sooner, whatever the case we have some big hurdles we now have to overcome and looking backwards isn't going to help at all.

First things first, I have to thank David Duff and the guys from DHL at the Volvo Ocean Race head office who have done an amazing job in getting all the logistics sorted. Between them, the kind people of Volvo Trucks and the great help from Maersk Line shipping, we now have a boat sitting on a ship with extra fuel to go faster and a new schedule to get our boat directly to Cape Town. The phrase "Moving Mountains" after seeing the size of the ship springs to mind!!

Then to our own team that did all the grunt work, from the organising in the office to the effort in Motril from our whole team lead by Nick Bice, awesome.
Tomorrow the team of boatbuilders from Greg Salthouse's will turn up and get into building the mould for the new piece of bow. Everyone in Cape Town has been fantastic and we are constantly getting offers of help. The ship is due in on the 28th November at which time we will have the shore base set up and a specific tent for the boat to be wheeled into, with the new piece of boat sitting there ready for the guys to tackle. The job is going to be a massive effort, but I have every faith in Greg Salthouse and all of our own guys.. We will be there come the InPort race number two!!

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