The Volvo Ocean Race again returns to the sea after the Sanya stopover. For Saturday, conditions appear ideal in the Sanya Haitang Bay. The Sanya In-Port Race will benefit from winds in the 20-25 knot range, along with flat seas. The combination of the two should make for nearly picture perfect racing as the In-Port Race kicks off around 0600 UTC (1:00 AM EST, 10:00 PM Friday PST).
While skippers and crews are looking forward to the picturesque conditions in the Bay on Saturday, the leg start on Sunday is a much different story.
It’s a veritable monsoon in the South China Sea, with waves of 33 feet (10 meters), and winds that the Hong Kong Observatory predicts could be as intense as 40 knots. With Leg 1 breakages still fresh on the mind, the fleet isn’t taking any chances. Telefonica took a day off from sailing and skipped the Pro-Am race day in order to refit their entire rigging system. Ken Read, skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing’s Mar Mostro who spent days on a remote South Atlantic island after Mar Mostro’s mast broke, is also concerned about the conditions. “At one point or another you switch from racing to surviving — that’s the big thing about sailing these boats. They are extremely high powered and they can get out of control pretty quick,” said Read.
Due to the lateness of the In-Port Race’s start, we will not provide live coverage. However, we will provide commentary and results as soon as the sun rises over Annapolis!
Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race.