Double winner of the Volvo Ocean Race Mike Sanderson is to compete in the 2011/12 race, skippering a Chinese entry

Mike Sanderson will skipper a Chinese entry, Team Sanya, in the next Volvo Ocean Race in which the crew will comprise a mixture of experienced sailors with ‘relatively raw Chinese sailors.’

The news brings the current total of entries in the race to seven.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to race under the flag of such a great
country and culture,” said Sanderson today at the Team Sanya launch in central Beijing. “We are building up a strong team and are ready to take on this exciting challenge. Our approach will be one of compelling intent, working fast and smart, representing this great country and team with ambition, dynamism and colourful energy.”

With time running out before the start of the race on 5 November, (inshore race starts 29 October), Sanderson will have no option but to buy a boat from a previous race in which to compete, but at this stage couldn’t confirm which boat the team would use.

“We thought Ericsson 4 was our target, but then we quickly had to see what we wanted to achieve out of this race. One of the options was getting the winner from the last race and as many points as possible. And the other one was getting a boat that could get us onto the podium in all conditions,” he said in an interview with Scuttlebutt.

“We are in the process of looking at all of the boats and there’s one that’s a candidate. We will announce it in about ten days.”