The skipper of Team New Zealand's entry in the Volvo Ocean yacht race says piracy is a very real threat on the third leg to Sanya, China, which starts on Saturday night.
Six teams will set out from Abu Dhabai, but will race for only about 100 nautical miles before their yachts are loaded onto a container ship and then relaunched from a secret destination deemed safe from pirates.
While he is pleased that race organisers are taking precautions, Chris Nicholson says pirates could still strike in southeast Asia.
Nicholson says the yachts have to pass through the Strait of Mallaca between Malaysia and Indonesia, a waterway known for piracy.
The New Zealand boat Camper is currently in second place with 62 points behind Team Telfonica, which has 68 points.
Camper finished third in the Abu Dhabi in-port race.