by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 11 of Leg 7. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
New wind to the east of the light-air ridge brings new smiles on deck; next stop Lisbon. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
The power of the jinx is a dangerous thing. There are things I might normally say, progress updates and enthusiastic hunches I might ideally give, but I don’t want to jinx this thing, not even a little bit. All that I’ll offer is that our boatspeed is up to 9 knots, from 5, and the wind is still swinging through 80-degree shifts. Life looks a little better, but by no means are we out of the woods just yet.
With just 250 short miles left in play, gains and losses are going to be significantly amplified over the next 24 hours, and while conditions are still very much out of our control – we are where we are – we have to be able to make the most of what we are given. Also of importance is the axis of this trough; it is not perfectly oriented north-to-south, but slightly deflected, extending farther east to the north, and farther west to the south. We are hoping we can break through a few hours ahead of the southern trio, thereby making up for their better angle of approach to Lisbon.
Really though, we just don’t know. It’s a helpless feeling, sitting here staring at the computers and their tortuous routing models. Our very meaningful fate is in the hands of the weather gods and that’s never a comforting circumstance. There is only so much we can do… If anything, it has almost eased some of the stress and pressure riding on this leg. At some point you just say, 'Well, we’ve done what we can and now we have to cross our fingers and hope like hell.'
So here we are, all 11 of us, just hoping like hell. Never in a million years did we expect to be here, fighting for an honest share of the lead, so in many ways that’s enough to be excited about, but man, wouldn’t it be cool!?
Amory Ross: 'If anyone, Tom, who would you trade positions with?'
Tom Addis: 'I just don’t know. Off the front row, it’s still anyone’s at this point.'
Nice sailing conditions as the cold front gives way to high pressure near Portugal. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
Puma Ocean Racing website
Volvo Ocean Race website