by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 4 of Leg 2. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Fast sailing conditions onboard Mar Mostro with Kelvin Harrap at the helm. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Another wild and zany day onboard Puma’s Mar Mostro. Frustration at not understanding what’s happening with the weather and impatience in waiting for it to improve are taking a toll on the crew. Tom [Addis] has simply given up trying to explain it to the rest of us, and I don’t blame him. Everyone’s asking all the time and there’s not a lot of logic involved. In his words, 'We could anchor for six hours and make out just fine.'
My negligible knowledge knows: we’ve been attempting to push through a frontal system to our east (Volvo 70s are fast enough to jump fronts), but every time we get close, the weather changes, the wind dies, and back we fall into stronger winds to the west. Then our boat speeds re-ignite, we reset our hopes and try again until the wind dies and the sluggish process repeats. All day long it’s been like that, and it’s downright infuriating. Ken said it was going to make him cry.
It’s a bit like the door-guessing game. Is our successful passage behind door A, B, or C? Do we race up and down the longitude trying every door, or do we patiently wait for the door closest to us to open? Nobody’s quite sure.
To say this is a major part of the leg is an understatement; it could possibly be everything. The team that first breaks through the front – if any do at all – could be launched. Sayonara, Adios, SeeyaNever. The team that gets left behind, well, gets left behind. We know where we’d like to be in the context of that scenario and it’s absolutely at the front. But to be so close is also to be so far.
By the looks of this afternoon’s scheds, we were the first boat to arrive at the front, but as of early morning it doesn’t look like anyone has found a way through.
Time will tell whether that’s even possible.
Ken Read and Ryan Godfrey talking down below under the watchful eyes of team mascot Marmo. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
Puma Ocean Racing website