How bizarre! That’s what Puma’s skipper Ken Read has been saying to himself more times than he would like to count during the Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Abu Dhabi.
'Everything about this race has been bizarre so far, so nothing surprises me,’’ Read said as his Puma’s Mar Mostro trailed in third position today.
The Newport, Rhode-Island native explained that the wind conditions had been anything but typical and advice from routing software had been conflicting since the leg started on December 11.
The atypical racing scenario has led to hair-pulling frustrations along with a sense of Groundhog Day for Read’s team, who were stuck in a melancholy routine of sleep, eat, sail. It is all relative, though, and compared to the torture of breaking a mast and retiring from Leg 1, this has all been bearable. Plus, the team are finally through a frustrating weather front and making good pace.
'Our position really since we got through the front was that we wanted to be the boat on the weather side, the high side,’’ he said. 'We’ve worked hard to really maintain and even increase that height.'
'We think the boat’s going really good. We’re happy with how the boat’s going in our little group of three with Telefónica and Camper. At this point we like our position, but like I said before stuff changes very quickly.'
Read said he and navigator Tom Addis had toyed with the idea of following leg leader Groupama sailing team on their southern course, and even with following Team Sanya on their northern course. Yet, Read explained that the pair decided it was best to stick with the fleet in the middle. While Groupama have pulled out in the lead, Read is not too concerned, especially with the Doldrums not too far away.
'All of our routing software on board gave us an illusion that we could punch through that front,’’ he said.
'I give the French credit: they didn’t believe it, and took matters into their own hands. You know we looked at that option, we looked at the option Sanya took too, we really looked at all options and ended up on middle ground.'
'Groupama stuck to their guns and went for it and it looks like it’s going to pay off for them… At least for now.'
Volvo Ocean Race website