Sunday, December 18, 2011

Preparing For Christmas Mike Sanderson's latest blog from Team Sanya


Sunday 18th December 2011

Mike gives us an update from Team Sanya:

This time of year is always a little stressful in our house. I mean there is Christmas shopping, working out how to keep families all happy with regards to “the day”, getting the family boat stocked for the summer cruise, getting dive gear serviced, fishing rods working, finding the bits for the windsurfer …. etc etc, it just goes on and on… just a frenzy of activity the week before Christmas in the Sanderson household.
Photo: Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race 
Then there is this year, oh just a little different. Here we are having split from the fleet after two days of trying to work out why NOT to do it. To give our play North the best chance to happen we have to go and tangle with a low pressure system off Madagasca – until the last few weeks a plce made most famous in our household by the Disney Movie my kids have!!
Photo: Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race 
The forecast says we could see 50 knots. Of slight concern is that in our weather briefing notes prior to the start, Ken Campbell our Metereologist, warned us of the lows off Madagasca due to them sometimes seeing breeze up to 70 knots!! Now that’s a slightly different pre-Christmas hassle!! But the opportunity to have lead the fleet by the Doldrums if our plan went well was just too good to pass up, and I am sure it was no great surprise to all the other teams to see us go.
Bottom line is that in a straight line reaching we aren’t quick enough to just go boat for boat with the new guys, so we do need to hit it out of the park a bit when the opportunity is a well calculated risk. Don’t lose faith in us if this doesn’t work out, the last thing Aksel and I want to be known for is “corner hitters". I have certainly lost my fair share of races by not doing what the router wanted though, and this time it was adamant and consistant over two days. As I said, we do need the next 36 hours to roll our way a little more though, and roll a little against the guys in the East and then it could be all on.

So the week is going to be very different for many reasons but also very exciting, now looking pretty certain that we will be out here for Christmas day, so will have to get Andres to set aside a little Turkey Tetrazini – a little freeze dried favourite of mine – for our own little bit of Christmas cheer.

Thanks for checking in on us

Mike and the guys on Sanya Lan.

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