7 Nov 2011

Sanderson not optimistic about their first leg prospects

11:18 am on 7 November 2011

It apears the Chinese boat Team Sanya will be unable to continue on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Less than a day into the event the boat suffered hull damage in strong winds in the Mediterranean.

The team is now accessing the damage which included part of the hull delaminating, and Sanya's New Zealand skipper Mike Sanderson isn't optimistic.

Sanderson says they still intend to continue the event and will be looking for podium finishes on the other legs.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing also suspended racing after breaking a mast and has also returned to port, leaving just 4 boats in the fleet.

Team New Zealand's boat, Camper, leads by just over 4 miles as they head towards the Strait of Gibraltar.