x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Short-handed Sanya's confidence grows by day

Team Sanya was sailing short-handed but sailing, as she made way with wind gusts in excess of 25 knots to the secret port for transport.

Confidence was soaring on board Sanya yesterday as the team raced out of a tropical cyclone danger-zone in the Indian Ocean and headed for the long awaited reaching conditions of the trade winds.

Team Sanya survived an up wind thrashing on Monday night in winds gusting in excess of 25 knots that proved to be the perfect test for the team's new rigging, which was replaced at Madagascar after the team suspended racing on December 20.

Cameron Dunn, the watch leader, said the team now had "100 per cent confidence" that the new rig was up to any challenge that could be thrown it during the 39,000-nautical mile ocean race.

"We're out of the danger zone, we had to reef our main and sail cautiously overnight, but the upshot of that is that we couldn't be more confident in our new rig,'' he said.

"If we look behind us we can see the tropical cyclone, which is a good sight, but ahead we can see the even better sight of blue skies and fluffy white clouds."

Dunn, 39, said it had been testing times racing the Volvo Open 70 short-handed with each of the six sailors on board having to be up on deck for every manoeuvre made.

But there were upsides, including the pick of the bunks when he had the chance to sleep.

"It is a lot easier living down below with fewer people, with more bunks, more space and more food," he said.