Volvo Ocean Race day 4 - Puma Ocean Racing 'glued to our buddies'

Ryan Godfrey taking some light-air downtime to strengthen spreader patches before the expected cold fronts arrives.
Puma Ocean Racing skipper Ken Read updates us on the crew’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race as they near the end of day four.

If you had told me that six boats would sail out the Med, then just after the exit at Gibraltar one third of the fleet would be at the dock, one third would take a left and head down the African coast, and the other third would head due west in search of frontal breeze to get south on…I would have looked at you like you had six heads.

Unreal! And, exactly what I didn't think would happen. My guess was that six boats were going to sail around the world in a bunch.

Then Camper decided to come our way, so the French are the lonely warriors heading the traditional trade route. Still pretty amazing. A split in the fleet with 39,500 miles to go!

I have to admit I like our spot, but there is a long way to go to the Doldrums. In essence, that is where we are all targeting – a spot to try and get through with the least light and crappy wind. That’s key to the success of this leg.

Fortunately, life on board is pretty much back to normal. Finally some much needed sleep, a little mending and the troops are good to go.

Newcomers Rome Kirby and Amory Ross are both wondering if we will be going upwind all the way around the world. At this point the answer would have to be yes.

We are glued to the hip of our buddies on Telefónica, heading west as quickly as we can in a crummy sea state and ever changing breeze strengths. Not great sailing, but at least we are moving today.

Kelvin Harrap stands by on the mainsheet. 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)

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Volvo Ocean Race website