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Andrés Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race
Team Sanya will make their return to competitive action in the Volvo Ocean Race in Miami, with the team reluctantly announcing on Monday that all options that would get the boat back in the race in Brazil have now been exhausted.

Sanya were forced to head back to New Zealand after rudder and hull damage suffered on March 22 meant they could not carry on racing into the Southern Ocean. Unable to deploy the reserve race rudder as the bearings had been mangled, they are using the emergency rudder over the stern of the boat to sail to Tauranga.

The shore team have spent the last four days investigating all options on how they might get back into the race as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to arrange for the boat to reach Itajaí in time, meaning they will miss Leg 6 and return for the Miami In-Port Race on May 19 and the start of Leg 7 to Lisbon on May 20.

The race boat and team are due to reach Tauranga in New Zealand on the evening of Tuesday, March 27, where they will immediately prepare the boat for shipment from Tauranga to Savannah in the United States. DHL, the race's official logistics partner, have organised all the team's freight, have arranged for a crane to haul the boat out of the water and will oversee all on-site operations in a major boost to the team.

The boat will be loaded onto a ship departing on the evening of Thursday, March 29 and is due to reach Savannah on April 27.

"Once we reach Savannah, we will re-assemble our shore team there and carry out the necessary repairs," said David Duff, COO for Team Sanya. "We will then sail the race boat for the 350 mile trip from Savannah to Miami as a shake-down opportunity and we should be in place in Miami in early May – in line with the other race boats that are expected there on May 6."

Mike Sanderson, Team Sanya CEO & Skipper, commented from the race boat on the next plan of action:

"For sure we are absolutely gutted to find ourselves for the third time in a devastating position. Twice now we have been leading the fleet only to encounter a major issue forcing us out of the leg. That said, we are as focused as ever to get back into the race and to make our sponsors and fans proud.

"Right now it's a case of pushing the boat as fast as we can to reach Tauranga in time as our turn-around time there is very tight – and trying to do that with a damaged hull and emergency rudder is not ideal. But we will make it happen and Team Sanya will be back in action before you know it."


  • Why do not you fly the boat with the big Antonov to Brasil / Guus bierman

  • Wikibond: team Sanya would appreciate you cheering them on when they arrive in Miami on the back of a cargo ship..ocean racing at its best! These boats are inshore or coastal racers at best. With the amount of breakages you would think that this is the first ever race around the world and the designers had no idea what sort of punishment there designs would encounter. If your boat suffers serious structural failure then you won't win this race, simple. Is this race just used to test technology therefore it's accepted as normal when a boat breaks? I thought the concept of this race was to be fastest around the world. An ocean racer crossing oceans on a cargo ship hardly looks the part.

  • People posting here seem to forget that this boat has already completed this race once before with no major failures

  • Mike Sanderson has shown great leadership under the risks of fast sailing. All the guys are safe and the boat is nearly back in NZ. His role is that of skipper not of composite engineer. But surely the engineering and building of the rudder stock and bearings will be under great scrutiny and lead to improved future versions. For example the rudder stock is hollow with no webs in it and the photos of the damage show not as many 0/180 degree fibres as you might expect.

  • leading the fleet.....not the right comment really...

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Andrés Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race

David Rolfe and Bert Schandevyl onboard Team Sanya during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil.