by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race is on day fifteen of racing for leg one. Amory Ross, MCM, onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:
Tom Addis talks clouds. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
I had just finished putting the last pot of water into yesterday’s dinner when I tiptoed on deck. There wasn’t much wind so I took a quiet seat on the sail stack, near Ken. After a few minutes of silence, he turned and said, 'This is the worst day on the water I’ve had in a really long time.' I don’t think he was necessarily talking to me, but I heard it for what it was – complete frustration with the day’s lack of progress. A small time later I asked if there was anything I could get him, and his reply: 'three knots and a massive lefty.' I don’t remember saying anything else.
It took another few minutes before I realized these were the kind of times I needed to be filming, and so I got my camera. When I came back up on deck I went straight to the one guy who had perhaps the longest day of them all: Tom Addis; he more than anyone had been waiting for those three knots from the left – all day long. Telefónica had benefitted from them and we were supposed to be too, but for a small and unpredictable cloud line that left us low and slow all day.
Camera in hand I asked Tom what was happening, how our lead had evaporated over the course of the day’s foul weather, and I was wholly expecting a rejection. Instead, Tom gave yet another complete reply that was chock full of detail, enthusiasm, and humor. He ended with, 'It’s a long way to go and the sun will come up tomorrow. Could be worse, could be better, but it could be worse too.'
It’s a great sign, that one really bad day can’t take these guys down so early in this race. Everyone remained positive, attentive, and motivated to regain each of those lost miles. I even heard Ken laughing before the sun went down.
Last night’s progress was good and while we’re now well in second place, everyone’s ready to reel in the Spaniards like they did us. Fortunately, there’s a lot of race left to do it; Cape Town is still more than 2,500 miles away.
Tony Mutter checking trim down to leeward. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
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