Tuesday, 28 June 2011

VOR : Chinese Team Sanya announce the purchase of ‘Telefonica Blue’ as their Volvo 70 race boat

Telefonica Blue - purchased by Team Sanya. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Leslie Greenhalgh

Following on from the announcement of Team Sanya as the new Chinese entry in the forthcoming 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race, the team today revealed which boat they have selected to purchase, modify and race in the next edition of the race event.

‘Telefonica Blue’, is the boat that Team Sanya has now purchased and she will be called ‘Sanya Lan’ from now onwards. Telefonica Blue competed in the 2008 - 2009 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race and finished in a very impressive 3rd position on the podium.

Mike Sanderson, Skipper, explained the reasons behind the team selecting this boat,
“We had a number of options on which boat to buy, all the boats available had their merits. Our decision to go for Telefonica Blue in the end was based around the fact that we believe the boat gives us the best chance to be on the podium as often as possible. This campaign is very late in getting going, and there is no doubt that we are handicapped by having to use an older generation boat. That said, we know we need to pitch the boat’s performance into a corner and Telefonica Blue last time was very quick in the light and moderate conditions and potent during inshore racing. Seeing the new boats launched so far, it appears she still might be okay in these conditions, only time will tell of course, but we do feel that she will offer us a great opportunity to have our “Day in the Sun”. Those of you that remember my daily logs from my last race will remember that I can get quite superstitious, so she will be named “Sanya Lan” ( Lan means Blue in Chinese) to keep the Sea Gods happy!”.

The team now sail the boat from its current base in Sanxenxo, Vigo in North West Spain to Hamble, Southampton in the UK where it will undergo a refit and makeover that is sure to reflect the colourful and dynamic image of Sanya.

David Duff, Chief Operating Officer for Team Sanya, who has been managing the boat selection and purchase process and will lead the shore team through the boat refit programme, added his thoughts:
“Our new Team Sanya race boat will leave Sanxenxo in Spain on Sunday 26th June and will be sailed to the UK where she will enter a boat build facility for 4-5 weeks. The Team Sanya shore team are ready and waiting to make her into our own. As to what modifications we will make, all I can say for now is that she is getting an exciting new paint job!! The rest, you will have to keep a very close eye on! We aim to be completed and ready to hit the water in early August.”

Team Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race