Photos: Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo

Team Sanya to complete leg 2A

Mike Sanderson's team to claim average points for leg 2B, the Abu Dhabi InPort and leg 3A

Saturday December 31st 2011, Author: Leslie Greenhalgh, Location: Madagascar

Mike Sanderson, Skipper and CEO of Team Sanya, issued an update this morning stating that Team Sanya is now aiming to resume racing as soon as the new rigging is in place and they hope to complete the first part of leg two of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.

The team suffered from a rigging failure on 19 December when they were leading the fleet and had to suspend racing and make an emergency stop in Fort Dauphin, a port in the South East of Madagascar.

Since then the team have been working flat out to make the necessary repairs as, due to the state-of-the art rigging used by the team, the whole side rigging system has had to be changed and the replacement rigging has now been created by Future Fibres. This rigging equipment left with shore team members from Valencia on 30 December and is due to arrive into Fort Dauphin today for the final preparation and curing process to begin.

The sailing team will gather in Fort Dauphin over the next few days and, along with the shore crew, they will step the re-built rig, tune and then sea-trial, with the aim of being able to resume racing on or around 6 January. The team is aiming to complete the first section of Leg Two that will take them to the safe haven port. By completing this part of Leg Two they are then entitled, under the Notice of Race rules, to claim average points for the second short stage of Leg Two, the InPort race in Abu Dhabi and the first stage of Leg Three.

Team Sanya is then forced by race rules to await for the fleet to return to the safe haven port during Leg Three and will then re-join the race into their home part of Sanya.

Mike Sanderson, commented on this latest decision: “The rigging failure was a massive disappointment to us as a team. We were having a great leg and felt that we were showing for the first time what this team has the potential to deliver given an opportunity opening up for us. It has taken quite some time to come to terms with this second blow to our campaign but that’s all part of what can happen during a Volvo Ocean Race and we are more determined than ever to get racing again.

"We have spent considerable time assessing the options and weighing up what might be seen as a relatively short term gain of completing this leg against the need to ensure the boat and team are 100% ready and race fit for Leg Three and onwards. After discussion with our key sponsors, we made the decision to do everything we can to complete this part of Leg Two and maximise the points we can gain which could be of value to us later in the race. We are still very dependant on everything going right with the application of the new rigging down in Madagascar, but very hopeful that we can resume racing as soon as possible.”

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