by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 8 of Leg 3. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Casey Smith heads to the top of the rig to find better winds on the horizon. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Yesterday I said it was going to be a make or break 24 hours. It appears now – after a full 24 hours – that we were headed for a breaking.
Puma’s Mar Mostro pulled to within a few hundred yards of Groupama and Telefónica late yesterday, and we were able to match them for most of last night staying offshore while they chose the inshore route; at one point we might have been ahead. Then came the hostile confrontation with a submerged net early this morning and it cost us a good hour of progress and 10 or so miles on the charts.
Jono Swain looking at the sails while Ken Read looks through the binoculars for wind on the horizon. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
Far worse, while untangling the tangled we sat idle as the dwindling night winds vanished, and we now find ourselves struggling in a windless transition zone while the leaders sail away in the old breeze and the trailers catch up in the new. It is upsetting. We are now closer to Camper and Abu Dhabi than we are the other two. Like I said: make or break, and we broke. Not exactly our fault, but nonetheless, it’s another gut wrenching setback of the likes we haven’t been able to avoid all race. Fortunately there is still a lot of track left, decisions to be made, and comebacks to be had.
Everything else onboard remains relatively unchanged, or in some cases even enhanced. It has actually found a way to get hotter – shocking, and freeze-dried flatulence is at an all-time high. Several new challengers for supremacy have surfaced too. I’m proud to say that I’m a boy amongst men in that contest, but it’s true, there’s something in the air (or the food) that’s taking things to a new level. Ohhhh the wonders of live-aboard entertainment...and it’s only day eight!
Puma Ocean Racing website