by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 18 of Leg 5. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Night approaches on the way to Itajai. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
'When we finish this leg we’ll have sailed 47 of the last 50 days. Not exactly a balanced life,' Michi Müller.
I’d like to be able to say we’re the last boat standing, because as the only boat yet to suspend racing this leg that’s the way it feels, but in actual fact Telefónica is very much a threat to our first leg win as they make their charge well to the east. It is going to be very close… and it’s a strange feeling onboard, as there is very little we can do to protect ourselves. There’s just no way to cover a boat that five days ago was 400 miles behind and at a dock.
Everyone was sad to hear of Groupama’s dismasting. It’s a problem we’re all too familiar with. Hats off to them, they have sailed another fantastic leg and we’re sorry to see it end that way. Though it had been a tough morning for us – we were out of phase and falling behind – everyone was having fun in the competitive sense. We were looking forward to the challenge of grinding them down again, and to making the most of the last few days in what has been a thrilling week.
But our attention now turns some 150 miles east towards Telefónica, who as of writing time was no further south than us. Incredible, really. Frustrating, absolutely. They’ve simply had better weather, weather we haven’t. And that’s continued all through today, too. Hopefully the front they’ve carried north since Cape Horn will reach us with enough time to hold on to the lead, but we just don’t know; they are untouchable and unreachable so far offshore. One routing model has us finishing within five minutes of each other…
Nevertheless, nothing has changed: we still have a race to win. The pedal is on the floor and we’re pushing the crew and the boat at 100-percent, there is no question or reason to do otherwise. We feel we deserve this one and are primed to do everything we can to make it so!
Puma Ocean Racing website
Volvo Ocean Race website