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Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Sanya let loose their Volvo Open 70 on a wild ride along the English Channel on Tuesday, after leaving their base on England’s south coast on a two day training trip.

“Every so often we dig the bow in and a wall of water comes flying down the deck and out of the back.”

Speaking from on board Sanya during their second day at sea, helmsman/trimmer Richard Mason described conditions on the boat for Mike Sanderson’s crew.

“It’s been pretty wild. We have just been practising our power reaching in about 25 knots of breeze and that always guarantees a very wet and wild ride on these machines.”

“We’ve got everyone and everything stacked in the back of the boat and we are ripping along. We are at absolutely 110 percent horsepower. Every so often we dig the bow in and a wall of water comes flying down the deck and out of the back.”

A late entry into the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, Team Sanya are playing catch-up as they prepare for the start on October 29 in Alicante, Spain.

“It has been a really productive trip,” commented Mason. “We need to make a lot of decisions very quickly and this is valuable time for us to spend on the boat. Basically we are trying to get a feel for how the boat functions in all facets. It’s a chance to understand how everything works – the galley, the engine, the charging systems and other things. It’s vital to get a handle on all this stuff so that we can work out what we need to do to get to the next level.”

According to Mason, Team Sanya are making good progress towards race readiness and the mood in the camp is buoyant.

“We know what we have to do and everyone is up for the task. Every week we go forward a big percentage. We have got a very dry and functional boat and everything is working very well. That’s the advantage of this boat -- it’s already been around the world once so we already know everything works.”

Mason says that there will be no let up in the work rate between now and the start in Alicante.

“It's pretty full on for us between now and the start of the race. The boat comes out of the water over the weekend for some more work. The crew are doing their safety course early next week and after that we sail the boat to Dublin and back. Immediately we return from that trip, we will be getting ready to leave on our 2000 mile qualifying sail down to Alicante.”

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Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race

UK, Cowes. 11th August 2011. Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 entry Team Sanya training ahead of the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race.