by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 12 of Leg 3. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Tony Mutter trimming to leeward. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
There’s only a day and a half of racing left out here and still plenty to gain. It’s yet another testament to the group of guys onboard that an unsuccessful and trying trek to the middle of the South China Sea hasn’t sunk the ship. With yesterday’s strenuous upwind misery and one more night of pounding-pain now behind us, we’ve reconnected with the fleet inshore and are short tacking the Vietnam coast before the final open-water dash to Sanya.
Conditions onboard are still rough though, and we continue to slam into each successive wave with a shudder like that of you car through a big winter’s pothole; there is absolutely no give. We’re still in urgent need of sleep, too, but everyone’s resigned to the fact that it’ll have to wait until the hotel!
Even in the low visibility, Camper occasionally pops into sight off the bow, and we know Abu Dhabi is lurking somewhere close behind our stern, so the strategy from here seems simple: don’t give up too much leverage and play each shift like it’s the last. The racecourse has become small enough that any gain is an important one – regardless of its size – and it promises to be a busy 36 hours of hard work fighting for every length of distance on the competition. Anything can happen…
Puma Ocean Racing website