by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race is on day sixteen of racing for leg one. Amory Ross, MCM, onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:
Michi Müller assists with the furling of the Genoa Staysail. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Were it not for the almost constant talk of Cape Town delights I’d say life is as usual out here, only a bit more determined, a bit more focused. Since Telefónica got by there’s been a lot less banter; there’s an intensity I haven’t seen before. The guys are willing everything they can out of the boat right now in the lighter winds. Unfortunately, our performance-on-paper is more a function of the weather we’re sailing in than the way we’re sailing the boat, but that going could change some with more wind in the forecast.
There’s no sense doing anything drastically different at this point because we’re in second. Everyone likes to talk about race strategy and chess matches, but we’ve got a good boat, a great crew, and an excellent judge of weather in Tom Addis. When there are so many strengths it’s important to avoid obvious weaknesses like impatience and irrationality. We’re just trying to stay positive and keep ourselves close enough so that if (and when) the proverbial door is opened, we can jump through.
There’s not a lot of diversity in routing options over the next couple of days: it’s south, south, and more south, until late Tuesday when we start our gradual left turn to the east. These boats can do 400-500 miles a day quite easily in good breeze, so in the immediate sense Telefónica’s 50-something mile lead is very manageable. So long as we sail smart, avoid mistakes, and force their hand, we feel good about our chances.
So that’s our don’t-get-down outlook on life aboard Puma’s Mar Mostro!
Life on deck during quieter times. 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)
Puma Ocean Racing website