Sailing-Tiger sees bright future in Year of Dragon

Chinese sailor Teng
Jiang He, nicknamed Tiger, is confident the Year of the Dragon
will bring a change of fortune for his Sanya team in the Volvo
Ocean Race after the back markers made a great start to their
home leg on Sunday.

Sanya, who failed to finish either of the first two legs,
got their tactics right on the eve of Chinese New Year, beating
Spanish/New Zealand rivals Camper over the line and holding the
lead as the fleet sailed out of the Maldivian capital of Male.

Sanya trail overall leaders Telefonica by 60 points but
victory in the race to their home port of Sanya in Hainan
province would make up for all the problems they have had so
far.

“We had a prefect start this morning,” said He, who is the
first Chinese sailor to compete in the 38-year-old race and
known to all his team mates as Tiger.

“We were the first boat over the start line and after a
couple of hours we are still holding the lead.

“Today coincides with the eve of the Chinese New Year and I
see great prospects for us in the Year of the Dragon. It was
only the physical problems with the boats that stopped us in the
first two legs. If it stays strong enough now I’m sure we can do
a great job on this leg.”

Organisers opted to split the third leg of the 39,000
nautical mile (72,000 km) race into two because of the threat of
pirates operating in the Indian Ocean. The boats had a short
sprint from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah before being transported on a
heavily armed ship to Male.

The second stage will see the boats cover just over 3,000 nm
over an estimated 14 days to Sanya.

Spain’s Telefonica are the favourites after winning the
first two offshore legs but Camper are only seven points behind
them, with French team Groupama a further 13 points back.


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