Mike Sanderson: Thank you Sanya

Mike Sanderson: Thank you Sanya

Monday February 20 2012 Author: Mike Sanderson Location: none selected

Well based on the sea state out here there is no doubt in my mind that the race organisers did the right thing holding us on the dock for 12 hours. Huge waves that if they had been accompanied by 40 knots of wind would have for sure put the fleet at risk, let alone the people. Remembering the shreak of pain when we broke poor Andy Meikeljohn's ankle on the first night out of Alicante when dropping off a big wave during a sail change Is still vivid in my memory, so it's not just about the boats and commercial loss if we lose a boat out of the race. These horses have Jockeys too!!

Okay so I might be a little biased, but what a stopover Sanya was!! Purpose built new facility, all new hotels and great food really did make it all very easy for the teams. For sure there is something great about having a stopover in a city that is the right size for the Volvo race, when we went to New York in 2006 for sure the race got a little lost, but to see Sanya just totally embrace the race was amazing. As sailors we are generally a pretty conservative bunch and I am sure there where some doubters that Sanya would really turn it on. From what I saw and heard everyone had a great time and you could easily see that from a commercial side the sponsors where thrilled with the crowds to the race villages and attendance of the corporate hospitality. It looked massive.

So from all of us here on Team Sanya, thank you very much... We loved being home and we will hope to make you proud as the race goes on.

Speaking of the race going on, here we are. Back into it and what do you know upwind! Had a couple of hours blast reaching as we exited Hainan which saw the fleet spread out pretty quickly as people backed their pre race strategy. Once again it is Tele in the far North and us in the South, don't pin it on us if it doesn't work out down here, basically in this stuff they are about half a knot quicker then us, but this time we are down here because this is what we wanted to do, yes we would love to now be five miles further down this road which is where one of the new boats would probably be if they were down here with us, but we have tactical leverage and cross your fingers for us that our router is right and we get a decent shift to go back at them.. Auckland is a long way away though so we will play reasonably conservative so we can live to fight another day.

The guys have slipped back into life onboard pretty well. It's always hard the first day, leaving family and friends is tough, and sleep is often hard for the first couple of days.. Hopefully tonight will be a goodie for us. The boat is in great shape, for that I must thank our amazing shore crew.. Cheers guys..

A couple of photos for you to show life onboard so far!!

Okay, time for me to get back on deck.
Thanks for checking in on us
Mike and the guys on Sanya LAN.

Photos below by Andres Soriano/Sanya

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