Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring AC72

Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro dash to the finish

by Ken Read on 10 Mar 2012
New Zealand awaits on the horizon entering the last night of Leg 4 racing. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.puma.com/sailing
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 20 of the second stage of Leg 4. Ken Read, Skipper of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:

Just rounded North Cape. After about a million miles and I think about three weeks of sailing we saw land for the first time. Tony Mutter gave such an unequivocal 'Land Ho' that he is hoarse and his throat hurts. Ryno gave Tony the nod to do the tradition on the boat this time as it is his home country and all.

I really only have one point to make today, and that is how completely bizarre this sport is. I feel like I am writing for a law review but here are the facts.

1. Due to the bizarre start to this race we actually started 39 minutes after the rest of the fleet. Yeah, yeah, it’s a long story. But, lets just say that the morning of the start of this leg was one of the strangest ever.

2. In essence, once we got around the corner of Sanya we didn't see another boat until we got to Taiwan. Upwind and lousy sailing. The entire fleet got around Taiwan, we had Abu Dhabi and Sanya about 10 miles behind us, and we sailed offshore with Telefónica, hot on their heels. Tele and us sailed into a light air zone. We got a northerly breeze and sailed away in it. They waited for a southerly and sailed away in that.

3. After leaving Tele we went upwind away from the mark to find a good reaching angle south as the eastern most boat in the fleet. Tele went south and was the western most boat in the fleet. We couldn't have taken much different paths to get to New Zealand. I bet we sailed hundreds of miles longer than they did. At one point I think there was about a 300-mile separation between us and Tele from east to west. They went through the Soloman Islands, we skirted New Caledonia. Two completely different ways to get here.

4. And yesterday morning as the sun rose, who is right behind us plainly in view, just about the same position that we left them off of the coast of Taiwan? Telefónica. Seriously, the two of us used up half of the Pacific and Coral Sea to get here, and low and behold we get to essentially the same point in space at nearly exactly the same time. Absolutely amazing game this is.

Anyway, last dash to the finish. We have tried our hardest to break this boat over the past three weeks. Knock on wood, she is still in one piece. The last few days were cruel. Upwind in 20-27 knots of wind with awful leftover chop and holes in the breeze that were big enough to force us to use our previously broken J-2 jib. Way too much sail area for over half the time but the right amount for the other half. Middle of the night, dropping off of condo-size waves in a 28-knot squall with way too much sail up. Sounds like fun doesn't it?

This dash to the finish is actually more like a crawl down the east coast of New Zealand. We have Tele and Camper hot on our heels and Abu Dhabi has had a huge couple of days in a much different breeze than the three of us and has jumped right back into the mix. I have a first beer bet with Ian Walker for the entire team over who beats who on this leg, so getting Abu Dhabi is crucial.

Groupama was gone. A hundred miles ahead. Sailed a fantastic race and they should be very proud. Impressive. Like a good presidential election we officially conceded the leg to Groupama. Well-done boys.

Anyway, more to report. Hopefully the wind gods cooperate, but it looks like the wind will die and the troops behind will come in with the new breeze just to make this a bit more interesting. Holding our breath Puma Ocean Racing website

Related Articles

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
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Schaefer 2016 660x82T Clewring One DesignNaiad