by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 11 of Leg 3. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
PUMA’s Mar Mostro goes upwind in the South China Sea. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
These are punishing conditions out here. The upwind slamming, smashing, and thrashing we’re enduring is enough to make anyone hurt bad. It was almost impossible to get any sleep last night (I didn’t), it’s hot, humid, and extremely violent down below. The 20 knots we have right now are supposed to build, but that’s not the real problem; it’s the god-awful waves causing all the discomfort. They’re big, they’re steep, and they have no backs so we just fall off each one only to find the bottom in a severely sudden crash.
You can see it in everyone’s faces – we’re ready to get to China. I don’t think anyone wants to spend another three days out here, but that’s what we have to do so it’s back to the business of yacht racing.
Back into the wet weather on the final days of Leg 3. 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)
We don’t yet know how much our easterly detour has cost us. What we do know is that it could have gone better. We got out there, right where we wanted to be, and the breeze died. Poor timing and unfortunate circumstances, but even with significantly less wind we still managed to hold bearing on the rest of the fleet. Makes you wonder what could have been… So we’ve now put that behind us and we’re trying to reconnect with the fleet as best we can. There are still some small gains to be made today as the rest of the guys have to tack up the coast of Vietnam, but it’s too early to see where we’ll fall in the mix. Then it’s a fairly straightforward drag-race north to Sanya… a place that can’t come soon enough!
Puma Ocean Racing website