Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Volvo Ocean Race - Keeping it together onboard Puma's Mar Mostro

by Ken Read on 29 May 2012
Downwind sailing on Mar Mostro with the bow finally pointed towards Lisbon. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.puma.com/sailing
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7, day 9. Skipper Ken Read reports from onboard Puma’s Mar Mostro.

You know what the best part of this race has been so far? The fact that this crew, without exception, still laughs at each others’ jokes and seems to hit it off as if it was day one of the program. And what a huge part of sport that is. Chemistry. It makes playing any game more fun, and I am convinced that when you have fun you probably perform better as well.

It is one of the things that Brad and I spoke about when we first talked about him joining our team over 2 years ago. We wanted to have fun and if we had fun, probably good things would happen. Now there is no doubt that it is easier to have fun when you are doing well, but this team certainly had its chance to lose its edge in the first half of this race. But nobody let it get us down as a group. It has been fun.

Now, how much fun is this leg? Not a lot. Groupama had a big lead only to get ground down. Telefónica had a big lead only to get smoked by a weak front that approached from the rear and they were last out of the old breeze. Now Abu Dhabi is in the unenviable position of being way ahead with a front that has come from the back at almost exactly the same speed as s Volvo 70 – 22 knots or so. And they are the unfortunate benefactors of this breeze last. Which means that their lead is hemorrhaging at this stage. Nearly 10 miles per sched. Very frustrating times for them, I would guess. And they have sailed really well to date.

Just slightly less frustrating for us, I must add. We have been the lurkers on this leg. Second a fair chunk of the time only to see things come unraveled on multiple occasions. Our little jaunt through the Gulf Stream beating to get north was really pleasant if you like colonoscopies. But, we keep holding on at this stage. For a variety of reasons. But I can't help but think our team chemistry is helping.

Like when we ask for about the 20th tack of the day in the Gulf Stream after nearly ripping our brand new J-2 jib to shreds when the tack strop blew off… 25 knots upwind against 3.8 knots of current in the stream is no bargain. Watching things start to come unraveled is another. But the boys kept it together, and good things eventually happened. Not much sleep happened.

Then, with the front approaching we fell back with the pack and the pre-front breeze helped everyone from behind immeasurably. We simply jibed on every shift for a day while the boats behind essentially pointed at us, taking away a huge chunk of the lead we had over the rest of the fleet. Frustrated? Absolutely. I was probably the worst. It was a no-win. But, the attitude stayed solid on board and we made what at least looks to be reasonable decision to set us up for the long 1,400-mile press to Lisbon. We have been working out from a leeward position with slightly more speed and height all day, which is getting us back in touch with the rest of the fleet. Hopefully in touch from in front of them but only time will tell. All while reeling in poor Abu Dhabi, who has to just sit and watch their lead continue to evaporate because of the weather situation.

So what will happen in the end? That is a complete toss up. We will continue hauling the mail toward Lisbon only to come to a compete halt with about 100 miles to go in a band of very light breeze that is forecast to be lingering off the coast. Another obstacle in a race and especially in a leg full of them.

Hopefully the chemistry can keep it together for a couple more days! We will need all the help we can Puma Volvo Ocean Race website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Barz Optics - FloatersNorth Technology - Southern SparsNaiad