by Ken Read
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 5 of Leg 8. Ken Read, Skipper onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Barring a disaster of epic proportions we are going to be third on this leg to Lorient. On the podium again. Becoming a familiar theme. But it isn't good enough at this stage. We have bled more points to the race leader on the second-to-last leg and we’re not very pleased about it. But, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Sailing in the ocean can be rewarding and frustrating and typically the two emotions can happen within minutes of each other. We raced this leg in what has been a familiar theme for us. Keep it close and keep sailing smart and hopefully someone makes a mistake. It looks like in the case of Telefónica this strategy worked but with Camper and Groupama it certainly didn't.
Groupama is fast. It’s that simple. Camper is fast as well, especially upwind and downwind. Camper caught a bit of a break after the long reach out to the Azores, having the fleet park up to let the guys who had fallen behind on the reach reel in the leaders. Don't let them back in the game because they will make you pay for it. When it got windy we made a couple of mistakes and they pounced. We aren't very happy with ourselves.
So where do we go from here? Despite being less than pleased we have moved into second overall for the race, but we have lost valuable points to the race leader Groupama. Time is of the essence. We have to start gaining ground now, and the In-Port Race in Lorient becomes that much more critical. We aren't mathematically out of it, but we have certainly made it hard on ourselves. As has everyone but that bloody green boat.
Puma Ocean Racing website
Volvo Ocean Race website