by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 9 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Ryan Godfrey documents ever changing sail shape for post-leg analysis. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
'One word: frenzy. It was an absolute frenzy at first,' Shannon Falcone.
We still hate clouds. We hate them, and even the pretty ones too. They ruin our days and plague our nights, and they’ve just done it again. One massive, unavoidable green glob on the radar and an ominously dark splotch of horizon indicate imminent doom, but nothing can prepare you for the gut wrenching conclusion once it’s run its course and stolen your wind, hopes, and in this case, your hard fought lead.
After the last dose of calm calamity cut our advantage from 35 miles to 5, we extended on the trailing pair to see the margin of comfort return to the 30s. But yesterday was tough, and we spent much of it dodging rain on the horizon. Again our lead shrank. And now one final and frantic squall has left us virtually even with Camper and Telefónica. Not very encouraging, but nonetheless, it’s back to the task at hand.
We again find ourselves moving food, spares, sails, and personal gear to the front of the boat in just 2 knots of wind, praying something will fill our sad sails and get us the blazes out of here. We’re all up and we’ve literally gone through every sail on the boat during the last hour, but it’s done nothing to prolong the inevitable. There’s not enough wind to justify unfurling a jib, so we sit, floundering under main only, keel canted to one side to prevent the boom from sweeping uncontrollably across the deck.
Okay, moving on. I’m tired of talking about clouds, tired of thinking about clouds. Just hate ‘em! Going to go make some coffee for the fellas as it’s looking like it will be a long and crummy night. Thankfully, tomorrow is another day!
Tom Addis studies the radar from the nav station, looking for a way out of the large rain cloud right in the middle. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
Puma Ocean Racing website
Volvo Ocean Race website