Team Sanya goes Future Fibres

Second Volvo team go with new spar builder

Friday August 12th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

Volvo Ocean Race entry Team Sanya, led by Mike Sanderson, has chosen Future Fibres for their complete mast and rigging package.

The Team Sanya boat is the only one in this Volvo Ocean Race to have competed in the last race and has undergone a major refit to close the performance gap to the newer boats prior to the start in October. Among other aspects, Team Sanya is fully embracing the major leap forward in mast and rigging technology achieved by Future Fibres.

Team Sanya will be Future Fibres' second Volvo Open 70 mast following Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Having two complete mast and rigging packages matches the tally of the previously preferred supplier in this race and signifies a major achievement for Future Fibres' new spar division.

Mike Sanderson explains the reasons for his mast and rigging choice: "Individually the Future Fibres team and they have a great depth of experience with no shortage of Volvo, Open 60 and AC rigs under their belts. Also, as a new team, with state-of-the-art facilities, they are bringing together all their ideas on fittings and detail design and creating some really fantastic custom components. I have no doubt it will be an excellent, fast, reliable mast."

Team Sanya's mast and rigging package has its own unique set of challenges for the Future Fibres team. Lead designer David Barnaby said: "Time is our biggest constraint. We have to deliver the full package within a 3 month lead-time. Our design brief calls for a very optimised specification which requires considerable design time for the structure and components. Having our facilities and design team 100% integrated with the rigging division in Valencia is a significant factor in achieving our goals. It also saves considerable time at the construction and pre-assembly stage which allows us to use that time in further development at the design stage."

"The new mast is planned to go into the boat in late September. That doesn´t give us much time until the start on 29th October, but this doesn´t concern me." explains Mike. "Knowing the team at Future Fibres, I have no doubt the mast and rigging will be great and it won´t take long to tune up and iron out any issues. I´m also sure it will be a significant improvement on what we have at the moment."

Team Sanya and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have chosen full Future Fibres rigging packages, in conjunction with their masts, based on the significant performance advantage. Mike, who has just returned from winning the Transpac, on the Future Fibres rigged mini-maxi Bella Mente, says, "With the rigging, there is no question in my mind that the latest Future Fibres solid carbon is the state of the art in the industry. Having just sailed with their brand new TSC carbon, I was super impressed. Any Grand Prix race team out there has to be seriously considering it.'

Given the wide variety of rigging requirements for the Volvo 70's, the teams will be using 4 different core fibres, and 3 different construction technologies, resulting in exactly the right product for each application. Including Team Sanya and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Future Fibres is supplying over 50% of the lateral, fore & aft and torsional rigging elements across the VOR 2011/12 fleet.

This edition also marks Future Fibres' 15 year anniversary of supplying rigging to the Volvo Ocean Race which is a testament to its continued commitment to lead the market through development and innovation.

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