SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Delayed by Weather - New Video Available
The delay will see Volvo Ocean Race organisers split Leg 4 into two stages and hold the six boats in Sanya, China after Sunday's leg start to allow enough time for dangerous conditions to clear, with fears that waves of up to eight metres could wreak havoc with the fleet.
Race director Jack Lloyd informed the teams on Saturday evening following the Sanya Haitang Bay In-Port Race that Leg 4 to Auckland, New Zealand, would be split for reasons of safety after forecasts of unsailable conditions in the South China Sea.
The first stage will start as scheduled at 1400 local time (0600 GMT/UTC) and will see the boats complete an inshore course in Sanya Bay before sailing past the famous Guanyin Buddha of South China Sea statue and finishing at Sanya Bay lighthouse which marks the entrance to Sanya Marina.
The fleet will then wait until conditions are deemed safe enough for them to sail. The delay will not be for more than 24 hours. The re-start will be staggered, with the boats leaving in the order they finish Stage 1.
Forecasts of winds gusting above 40 knots and waves of eight metres prompted the decision, according to Race CEO Knut Frostad.