Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Volvo Ocean Race - Puma punch through cold front

by Amory Ross on 26 Apr 2012
Kelvin Harrap driving at sunrise. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.puma.com/sailing
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 4 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:

It seems we are through both front and ridge and finally free to point north, but it was not without its troubles! We first pushed through the frontal barrier with little resistance and it was a few hours more before we approached the east-to-west line of windless convergence extending three quarters of the way across the Atlantic.

Getting anywhere first during a race always brings moments of excitement and anticipation, but in this case life quickly turned tense as forward progress came to an abrupt stop. We found ourselves without wind, aimlessly drifting while trying to keep the rig from punching through our lifeless and hanging sails. It’s one thing to simply sit there, but to spend all of your idle time wondering if it’s a condition the other boats are dealing with too is unpleasant and stressful.

So many times this race we’ve found ourselves in that situation: becalmed and vulnerable, forced to watch while the others just sail around the outside. That feeling of total helplessness is one nobody wishes to relive, and as we sat there today – even moving backwards at one stage – all we could think about was the next sched. Would our lead evaporate in three hours time? Would we be stuck here, isolated and slow, having shown the fleet where not to go? Or are we okay…are the others drifting too? It’s an unbearably difficult range of emotion, having worked so hard to get where we are, and to possibly see it vanish in just a few watches time.

But the answer would come in several stages. Three hours into the mess Tom flipped on the intercom: 'It could be worse,' he starts. 'We did 3 knots towards 065, everyone else went 5 or 6. We’ve compressed, as expected. Brace yourselves.' Man. Another three hours of waiting, wondering, doubting, and fearing…preparing again for the worse. Everyone’s just trying to make the boat go forward, any way possible. Eyes peeled on the horizon for positive signs of any kind. Finally, a hint of wind. Two sail changes later and we’re slowly on our way again. Another hour goes by that seems like an eternity and we’re actually going well again. But is it too late?? Sched time… everyone’s anxious. The intercom flicks on.

'Puma…did 10 knots…040.' Moment of truth. 'Telefonica…2.3. Camper, 2 knots. Abu Dhabi, 3.1. Groupama, 2.6'

A giant sigh of relief and a few modest expletives later, and we were free. Lead intact, we went back to doing whatever it is that needed doing, taking Mar Mostro north with smiles on our faces. Not this time! At least not yet.

In response to my having a real book: 'You bring one book and you can’t even read when it gets dark. I have 10 books on my iPod and can read whenever,' Michi Müller.

Barz Optics - FloatersSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82T Clewring - Generic

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race- Official Video of latest edtion
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during July The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012. This documentary tracks the fleet during their amazing around the world journey. Catch all the drama and action as the teams sail a 39,000 nautical miles through the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, M
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- All-Women crew announced for the 2014-15 edition
The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest co The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest company SCA announced they would enter a women’s crew for the next edition in 2014-15. 'The lack of women in the last few editions of the race has meant we haven't been representing half the population of the human race' - Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race, CEO
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- And when the race is over.... + Video
Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. She will visit the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca. Sponsored by the Mallorcan footwear company Camper, the return of the joint Spanish and New Zealand flagged boat, marks the end of a round the world adventure that started with the yacht’s baptism at the RCNP in September 2011 and the race start from A
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Calling up the Reinforcements
They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, who were given the chance to prove they could step up to challenges as big as the Southern Ocean, often with barely any notice. Be it an email with a subject line 'get your boots ready' or a hurried face-to-face with the skipper just minutes before the st
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most success The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most successful, CEO Knut Frostad said on Thursday, with hundreds of thousands of fans visiting Galway in Ireland for a buoyant finale and outstanding growth across media platforms set to be confirmed once final data is in.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Sanderson wants to go again
Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in la Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in late 2014 when he expects to return for another campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race. Sanderson skippered ABN AMRO ONE to victory in 2005-06 and while his race this time with Sanya was not the same glittering success he is determined it will not be his final appearance in the Volvo
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
'It's been an amazing adventure, a fantastic tour, and a great race' - Brad Marsh The title ‘hero’ does not rest easy on the shoulders of Groupama bowman Brad Marsh, but most agree that it is the best way to describe the Kiwi who repaired a sinking yacht, saved a broken rig and scaled a 31-metre mast in a storm front.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history thanks to Groupama's debut victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here we profile the charismatic French sailor for whom perfection is never good enough.
Posted on 10 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Selected Awards announced at Formal Prizegiving
Camper's Hamish Hooper saw nine months of hard work pay off as he was crowned Media Crew Member of the Volvo Ocean Race The selected award category winners were announced at the final formal Volvo Ocean Race prizegiving in Galway Ireland. We present a gallery of images and video of the category winners and their feats including the Media Crew member Award, the Rookie Award, the Seamanship Award, the Shore Crew Award as well as the Designer Award and Speed Trophy presentation.
Posted on 9 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Formal Prizegiving - Racing Award winners
The racing award winners and crews were announced at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland The racing award winners were recognised at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland after the conclusion of the InPort race on Saturday. All six crews were presented with overall awards or place momentos. The InPort Trophy was awarded as well, the speed record trophy was also awarded.
Posted on 8 Jul 2012