Team Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson is rallying his troops ahead of the long awaited arrival of their damaged Volvo Open 70 Sanya at the US city of Savannah on Friday.
The team’s shore crew is now en route to the Atlantic seaport where they will begin repairing Sanya, which was forced to retire from Leg 5 and return to New Zealand when one of its rudders broke four days into the race.
Sanderson said the team would also be turning their attention to a 1.5 metre crack in the bottom of the boat that was identified when it was lifted out of the water at Tauranga, New Zealand and on board the cargo ship.
“We came across a little bit of a daunting surprise on lifting the boat, a pretty scary looking 1.5 metre crack in the bottom of the boat, down aft, running from where the propeller goes up into the hull heading towards the broken rudder,’’ he said.
“Who knows what came first and if one led to the other, the only thing I do know is that we were very lucky that we turned around.
“The damage was through the outside skin, so it wouldn't have taken long before we would have been faced with the crack opening up and starting to tear itself to bits.”
Sanderson said his team wouldn’t have much time to execute the repair job before the sailing team would regroup and begin sailing the remaining 350 nautical miles to Miami.
But Sanderson is confident Sanya can be repaired and delivered to one of the largest ports in the US, Miami, where the six Volvo Open 70s will reunite ahead of the PortMiami In-Port race and Leg 7 start.
“We all arrive up there over the next two weeks and soon enough we will be back out yachting in the mighty Sanya Lan, as much grief as she has given us we do still love her,” he said.
“We will miss terribly not being amongst it on this leg, but it now feels like we are on our way back into the race."
- 11 May 2012Sanya's shakedown tour nearing Miami
- 2 May 2012'Smoking' Telefónica eye chance to pounce
- 13 Apr 2012The big debate - skippers comment on Leg 5 attrition
- 23 Mar 2012Tauranga-bound Sanya pledge return in Miami at latest
- 17 Mar 2012Kirketerp expects Southern Ocean baptism of fire
- 7 Mar 2012Sanderson hoping for home ground advantage