Mike Sanderson: Old pair of slippers

Mike Sanderson: Old pair of slippers

Saturday May 12 2012 Author: Mike Sanderson Location: none selected

They say that there is nothing quite like slipping on your old slippers when you get home - well I have to confess that over the last 24 hours I have had the same feeling about the wet weather pants.. Being back out ripping along on the mighty Sanya Lan at 20 plus knots really does feel like "coming home". This feeling goes a long way to overcome many of the disappointments we have had in the boat, for sure she holds a big place in our hearts , she has always got us home safely albeit a bit broken at times.

Once again there are just so many people to thank for getting us back on the water, for sure I will miss lots but I have to mention a few - there was the wonderful team in Tauranga, our saviours Maersk Line shipping, DHL for their logistical support, all the great help at Thunderbolt Marine in Savannah, Georgia, and, of course again, Farr Yacht Design, Salthouse Boatbuilders and all the rest of you that sprung into action to help our wonderful group of shore crew to make the boat look better then ever. Now I know I have said this before, but each time for sure it's true.. The boat is just getting better and better. I have a good feeling about the rest of the race.

The trip down the coast has delivered so far some of the nicest sailing conditions we have had in the boat. As I write this we are sitting on 22 knots jib reaching, sunny skies and water temperature of 24 degrees.. Not bad at all!! We have also had the pleasure of some guests on the trip. Firstly Bora Gulari most famous (well in my eyes) for winning the 2009 Moth Worlds, but has also more recently been kicking ass in the Melges 24 class. For me it's just great to have a new set of eyes to look at what we are doing from someone that has no pre-conceived ideas in his head as to what has become Volvo 70 "norm", very refreshing.

Then also for the trip we have Volvo cameramen Marc Bow and event photographer PT, (Paul Todd) for me though i chuckle when I hear him called PT, as I happen to have known Paul for twenty five years - but I know him as ET..., not many people know, but Paul is in fact a sailmaker and a bloody good yachtie. When I first went straight from school to work at North Sails NZ , ET was one of the senior sailmakers and quite the character. Last night he reminded me of a pretty funny story. For the whole first school holiday's that I worked in the loft they had my name wrong and called me Pete. I had no idea why and they must have thought I was deaf for not responding too it, but finally I cottoned on it was me they were talking to and just went with it. Anyway in a polite manner when back at boarding school I wrote them a letter of thanks for letting me work there and at the end said.. P.S. "By the way my name is Mike - not Pete!"

By late this afternoon fingers crossed we should be tied up to the dock in the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Miami, not the way we ever thought in a million years we reach Miami, but at least we are here and in great shape, with the most wonderful team spirit and ready to "have another go..."

Team Sanya is back!, ET is back!! And Bora has plans on how we can make our 70 fly like a Moth!,, Bring it on....

Cheers
Mike

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