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DHL presents inaugural Shore Crew Award to Team Sanya

A new award recognizing the ‘unsung heroes’ behind the race goes to Sanya’s shore crew, who repaired and readied their boat in record time, putting their team back in business just in time for Leg 2.

(Credit: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race)

DHL presented Team Sanya with the inaugural DHL Shore Crew Award at the Leg 1 awards ceremony of the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race in Cape Town on Thursday, December 8. The team’s epic mission to get their boat back into the race left no doubt that they should receive the award.

This new award honors the ‘unsung heroes’ behind the Volvo Ocean Race – the boat builders, sail makers, PR teams and so many more – who help make the race happen and enable the teams to compete successfully.

An amazing accomplishment

Just hours into the start of Leg 1, Team Sanya was forced to retire from the race after discovering severe structural damage to the bow of their Volvo Ocean 70. Taking on water, they had no option but to limp to the nearest port.

The damage was extensive and initial estimates gave two-three weeks for the repair – time the team didn’t have.

Sanya’s race quickly turned into a logistical one, and the shore crew shifted into high gear to get the boat to Cape Town as fast as possible.

Before Sanya’s boat – which eventually made the voyage to Cape Town on a freighter – even reached the southern tip of Africa, Sanya shore manager Nick Bice and a team of boat builders had been working furiously to make a new oversized section of the bow to replace the damaged area.

Once the boat was unloaded from the cargo ship, Team Sanya’s shore crew pulled together, working around the clock to cut away the badly delaminated bow and replace it with a new custom-made section. They completed the job in two days – a record time that kept Sanya’s hopes of being ready for the In-Port Race on December 10 and the start of Leg 2 the day after alive.

(Credit: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race)

The new DHL Shore Crew Award

Enabling others to do business is precisely what DHL is all about. The crucial characteristics of an award-winning shore crew embody DHL’s core brand values of speed, teamwork and reliability. The shore crew makes it possible for the team to compete just as DHL – the Official Logistics Partner of the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race – helps to make the race possible.

Each shore crew is evaluated leg by leg by a special panel of judges appointed to evaluate the teams’ performances based on a set of criteria. In addition to the winners of each leg, shore crews accumulate points during the race, culminating in an overall winner in Galway, Ireland after the final leg of the race.

Shore crews work on extremely tight schedules and are held to the highest standards. They are responsible for multi-million dollar team kits and equipment. This, too, mirrors DHL’s role in the race, which is to ensure that the team kits reach the ports safely and on time and to be available around the clock to express deliver spare parts for the teams when needed.

Back in the water

On December 7, Team Sanya’s boat hit the water for the first time in a month, the last of the six boats competing in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. And none too soon: the boat crew had only one day to get back into race mode and prepare for Friday’s practice race ahead of the In-Port Race on Saturday.

Now two days into Leg 2 – a 5,430 nautical-mile odyssey (6,249 miles, 10,056 kilometers) around the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas and north into the Indian Ocean toward the port of Abu Dhabi – Sanya is faring better, running a neck-and-neck with PUMA for third place behind Groupama and CAMPER.

Out at sea, Team Sanya’s boat crew may now be keeping an eye out over the horizon, but they haven’t forgotten their teammates who helped get them back in the race. In his first report from the boat on this leg Media crew member Andres Soiano included: To our shore team, hope you have a truly wonderful evening tonight, you certainly deserve it and we will make you proud out here. Looking forward to catching up in Abu Dhabi, here’s to you all!

Keep up with the action at http://www.volvooceanrace.comExternal Link / New Window.