Mike Sanderson update

Mike Sanderson update

Sunday December 4 2011 Author: Mike Sanderson Location: none selected

If New Zealand didn't exist, South Africa and in particular Cape Town would be right up there on my favourite places to live. In my last Blog I spoke about arriving here what is now three weeks ago with the family by Plane instead of on our fine yacht, well now it feels like I have been here for ages. Firstly there was some catching up on all the emails that got a little stacked up leading up to the race start. Then there was some R&R with the family that entailed looking at Lions, Hippos and all sorts of amazing animals, one of whom I thought was especially 'hard case' was a particularly tame ostrich called "Steve"!!

All the time I had to keep working on upping the fitness training knowing that the day of the "Lion's Head Run" was only getting closer. The last time I was in Cape Town with ABN AMRO, I think I put on 5 kgs in the three weeks living off Cape Town's fine dining, so the fear of having to carry that up the mountain has for sure upped the training and controlled the eating.

On Wednesday last week the big day finally arrived and the mighty Maersk Line ship carrying Sanya Lan steamed into Cape Town. From that moment on, things around here have been slightly crazy. We are basically divided up into three teams : there is our Team Sanya squad that will come all the way around the world; but then in addition to us there is the team of boatbuilders led by Greg Salthouse from Salthouse Boatbuilders and then Ian Lovering and his Ashdown Marine guys who are fairing and painting the bow. Nick Bice, our Shore Manager, is co-ordinating the whole thing and so far it has been unbelievably impressive.

The Cape Town weather has tried it's hardest to slow them down. We are on the end of a wharf and during three of the last five days we have seen in excess of 40 knots and some good torrential down-pours, not exactly the dust-free environment that we would normally want for composite boatbuilding in - but then there isn't a whole lot 'normal' about what we have bitten off to achieve here in a week!!

I also have to mention Russell Bowler from the Farr Office who has been here checking every stage of the repair job that he so carefully engineered. All in all , (so far) it has been a well-oiled machine... BUT and it's a big but, there are a fair few more fiery hoops that we have to jump through yet. We are only just on schedule, all going well we will be going on the keel on Wednesday 7th December with the rig in late that evening. If that all goes without a hitch, we would sail with a lot more Pro's then Am's on the Pro-AM day and then fingers crossed all going well, we will be there for the In-Port race. That's what we are shooting for and I have every faith that it will happen... ( please??!!)

Yesterday morning at 0600, the sailing team gathered for our little adventure up Lion's Head - a run/climb of 16km and a gradient going up to 600 metres - of course it wasn't a race, that would be totally irresponsible this close to a leg start, I mean nobody cared if they got beaten?? yeah right!! it was a good old grudge match, splits and times being taken, people calculating strategy and different hill running techniques. The results are of course confidential, but it would be fair to say that the old boys did just fine!!

Thanks for checking in on us, as 'lekker' ( my new South African word for good / great / nice...) as it has been here for the last three weeks in glorious Cape Town, it will be so cool to get to go sailing on our mighty Sanya come next weekend.

Talk soon

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