Team Sanya is on their way to finally being reunited with the fleet after a rigging snafu forced them to stop for repairs in Madagascar. They’re now trucking at full speed towards the safe haven port where boats will begin Leg 3, Stage 2, a sprint into Team Sanya’s namesake port in China.
According to the Volvo Ocean Race, the rest of the fleet has been shipped to an unloading port in the Indian Ocean where they can begin another short sprint into China’s first Volvo Ocean Race stopover:
The five-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet was safely loaded onto a ship in Sharjah on Sunday after strong desert winds had earlier forced a delay.
The fleet arrived in the port late last night at the end of the opening stage of Leg 3, a high adrenaline 106 nautical mile, six and a half hour blast from Abu Dhabi, won by Ian Walker’s home team on Azzam, their second victory in two days.
The fleet docked in the port overnight ahead of a planned early start to the loading process today. This morning however the strong Shamal winds which had given the boats such a fast run from Abu Dhabi had intensified, making loading the boats too dangerous.
With winds moderating around lunchtime race director Jack Lloyd gave the green light for the process to begin and by 1000 UTC CAMPER was safely on the cradle.
Telefónica was next aboard, followed by Abu Dhabi’s Azzam, PUMA’s Mar Mostro and Groupama 4.
“Once it was underway, the whole process passed off without a hitch,” said Race Director Jack Lloyd, who oversaw the loading.
Now they are safely on the ship, they can be transported to an unloading port in the Indian Ocean to compelte Leg 3 with the long second stage to the Chinese port of Sanya.
The shipping is being undertaken as part of a series of measures to counter piracy in the region.