by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 6 of the second stage of Leg 4. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Michi Müller stands by at the main grinding station - the boats gas pedal. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
'I will take a week of these conditions as payment for that upwind [sailing].' Michi Müller.
Two things were certain of 2012: The world was going to end, and Puma Ocean Racing was going to sail north on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race…f o r e v e r. Well, the world lives on and we’ve turned east! Incredible.
Mar Mostro’s compass reads near 90 all the time now and we’re taking advantage of some consistently flat-and-fast conditions to close reach east at around 18-to-22 knots. It feels great to finally be heading across the East China Sea and out into the Pacific. Sayonara Japan!
Digging in to the north was always the play for us, and though it felt like we would never be far enough, we’re here now, there’s good breeze to our east, and the time has come to cash in our 'ups' to start taking back some of our [many] lost miles. But the transition from north to east comes with an uncomfortable level of anxiety.
We’ve already suffered the familiar weight of going it alone, and while we never once wrote ourselves off and are very much poised to pounce on the guys to our south, the threat of losing big still looms large. In that sense, looking at the position chart can be intimidating – and surely you all feel the same way – but we very well know now how quickly deficits can be erased with the right conditions and a little bit of patience.
Soooo, here we go. The trigger’s officially been pulled. We’ve done a great job staying positive so far, but now it’s time to have some fun; there’s plenty of that to catch up on, too!
Puma Ocean Racing website