Mike Sanderson thinks the race he has won twice should now go the other way round

Three days into yet another upwind slog has got former race winner Mike Sanderson thinking. He suggests that future Volvo Ocean Races should go the other way around the world and more needs to be done to bring the big names back. Three days into a 20 day leg, in which the long blast down to Auckland should give everyone plenty of time to think – Can’t wait to hear more!

Here’s what he sent from the boat earlier today.

“Pretty bumpy out here on the mighty Sanya LAN, just for a change we are going upwind!! The thought went through my head today if in fact the race organizers have looked seriously at sailing this course in the future the other way around the World!! Yes East about, as it’s not like it’s not supposed to be upwind here, it is.

Basically we are still going upwind in the North East Monsoons, the same “trade wind” since we left the Maldives. Prior to the Maldives it had been upwind from Cape Town and then when we get to the Philippines it will be a tight reach at best down through the Trades. To date our Fractional code Zero which is our most running sail for any breeze is still brand new!!

I am well aware that the race needs to go to the stop-overs it does currently, you just need to look at the huge success Sanya that was, but somehow we need to keep the racing enjoyable too. Right now that box isn’t being ticked enough in my mind. The race needs the lucrative stopovers, but it also needs the “names” like Cayard, Grael etc coming back to the race to keep the profile high, that’s my two cents worth anyway.

If the Ice Gates on the leg in the Southern Ocean leg to Cape Horn end up too high for the Weather pattern at the time then we could conceivably be on jibs all the way too Miami!! No I’m not joking.. Just look at the poor guys in the Class 40’s that have been down there for a few weeks. Maybe it’s just me and I haven’t adapted to the new race. That’s possible..but I don’t think so, I can rattle around in one of these things as well as anyone,, but do I want too? Hmmmmm…

On a more up-beat note the boys and the boat are all going really well, our tactical move to the South out of the start gave us the leverage into the Easterly shift and we have gone nicely. The boat is going better now though too. All the tiny tweaks that we did in Sanya have made a difference it seems, the boys are great as always, just a really nice mix of intensity and humour.

So for now it’s a race towards the Southern tip of Taiwan, a long way North of our actual turning mark, but the place where the next breeze will fill from so we can get East before finally turning. South and heading for New Zealand!”