by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 5 of Leg 3. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Moving the sail stack across the deck before a tack. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
The Malacca Strait adventures began last night and we’re still a day out. Notoriously touted as one of the busiest and most congested shipping lanes in the world, we found our fare share of exiting and entering ships to contend (and communicate) with in the dark. There was also distant lightning, several 20-plus knot squalls – the first of this leg – and a solid thud-of-a-something off our leeward daggerboard; I’d say we’re getting close!
The approach to the Straits, a right-hand turn around the northwest corner of Indonesia, looks fetch-able right now were it not for a wicked adverse current and an expected header coming off the land (we think it’s hot now?). So we have two more tacks to take before we can lay the inlet, and then it’s a complex navigational challenge in picking a side to play for the run down.
But before we even get there we have to fend off Groupama and Camper to the south, and not lose touch of Telefónica to the north. The guys from Spain seemingly cannot put a foot wrong and they’ve been consistently extending all day long. Hopefully they park up somewhere so we can exact some revenge for their leg one and two Doldrums switcheroos…
None of this detracts from the more important matter at hand: the Giants v. Patriots Super Bowl buildup (or, as every non-American on the boat calls it, the 'Global World Championships of a sport nobody else plays'). There has been a steady stream of pre-game emails coming to the boat and the Giants, my boys in blue, are again the underdogs in Vegas; just the way they like it. It only means my winnings from Kenny and Rome are going to be that much greater… It’s just up to Tom to make sure we get to China in time to watch it. No pressure Tom.
Marmo taking a fan for himself to keep cool. 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)
Puma Ocean Racing website