Team Sanya purchase Spanish boat

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The Independent Online

Spain has sold to the Chinese team in the upcoming Volvo round the world race one of the boats it had been expected to race in November.

Team Sanya, named after the port on Hainan Island which will be the third stopover in the race, has bought the 2008-09 Telefonica Blue, which has already been extensively modified under the direction of Argentinian designer Juan Kouyoumdjian.



Sanya skipper, New Zealander Mike Sanderson, has a long working relationship with Juan K and has also saved on the time it would have taken to modify another boat.



Sanderson also considered the boat which, as Ericsson 4, won the last race and has been used for training by the French team Groupama. Both Telefonica and Groupama have new boats designed by Juan K.



This leaves the Bruce Farr-designed Telefonica Black for the Spanish team, headed by Pedro Campos, to fill the role of a second Volvo race entry, to which Campos and the Generalitat of Valencia are contracted. The Volvo race headquarters is in the generalitat’s southern city of Alicante , from where the race starts.



The Sanya boat is being moved from San Xenxo, Galicia, up to the Hamble River, off Southampton Water, where it will be refitted and reliveried. Sanderson hopes to announce his crew, including the first of up to four Chinese who will form part of the sailing crew on a rotating basis, in the next 10 days.



He also hopes that he will be ready to take part in the Fastnet Race, which starts from Cowes on 14 August, along with the new Groupama. Both the American boat Puma and the Ian Walker-skippered Abu Dhabi , to be launched in Portofino next week, are expected to give the Fastnet a miss. Final announcements, including its formal entry of a second boat in the Volvo, are awaited from Campos and, in the Fastnet, from the TNZ-managed Camper from Mallorca.

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