For the second time in two legs, Team Sanya is facing a test of resource and resolve just to continue in the race, but for skipper Mike Sanderson, there is no doubt the team will be ready to pounce in time for Leg 3.
Sanya suffered a rigging failure while they were leading in Leg 2, forcing them to head to Madagascar to finalize a repair plan that should allow them to rejoin the race when the fleet returns to the safe haven port for the second stage of Leg 3.
The incident was a bitter blow for Sanderson, who skippered ABN AMRO ONE to victory in the 2005-06 race, but the New Zealander has already seen enough to convince him that the only team racing in a secondhand boat can still be hugely successful on their own terms.
“It’s very important that we remember what this campaign is about, which is making noise, punching above our weight, being opportunistic to get on the podium and mixing it with the big boys,” said Sanderson.
Sanderson’s previous experience of Madagascar had been limited to watching the Disney cartoon of the same name with his two children.
Despite the shock of being forced on a detour to the island, the New Zealander found reason to smile thanks to PUMA skipper Ken Read, who is obviously a fan of Disney’s Madagascar as well.
Sanderson said he had received an email from Read expressing his team’s sympathy for the situation, which also included memorable quote from the movie: “Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.’’
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