Volvo Ocean Race - Mother Nature toys with Team Sanya

Bert Schandevyl and Ryan Houston onboard Team Sanya during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race crew of Team Sanya are being toyed with by Mother Nature as she tempts them with the promise of Trade Wind sailing whilst dealing them a fifth consecutive day of upwind racing. The crew is somewhat disoriented, reported Media Crew Member Andres Soriano on Thursday as they continued to trek north in the Indian Ocean towards the safe haven port.

'After beating into the wind for four days, which has been less than accommodating, we tacked onto starboard with the hope that we had reached the corner of the trades and we would soon be pointing at the mark and the sailing would become pleasant again,’’ Soriano said.

'Mother Nature seems to have another plan, as we are still on the wind for our fifth consecutive day. The sea state has calmed a bit, but the added boat speed that we were all looking forward to has yet to come.¨

Soriano said he grew up hearing epic tales of trade wind sailing, where yachts would cruise in warm airs, reaching at a steady 15 to 20 knots boat speed.

Instead, time is ticking by slowly for the crew of seven on board Sanya, as the monotony and pounding of upwind sailing takes a toll on the team.

When helmsman/trimmer David Swete woke from his off-watch on Thursday the anti-climax of finding more of the same was obvious: 'It’s only been five days! Really?' he asked.

Playing a game the team calls 'Guess the Tune' has become a popular pastime on deck, while the approaching equator crossing is also providing food for thought for Soriano, who will be facing the wrath of King Neptune as part of a longstanding tradition for sailors crossing the equator for the first time.

Three other crew members will also be crossing the equator for the first time including David Swete, Cameron Dunn and Teng Jiang He, best known as Tiger.

Volvo Ocean Race website