by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 6 of Leg 3. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:
Nightfall nears the Malacca Strait. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Phase One, complete. We’ve made it across the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Bengal, still in one piece and very much in the hunt. Telefónica converted on their northerly position and were first to make landfall and lead into the Strait, Camper close behind. We were an even closer third with Groupama an hour or so behind us. It’s been great racing, after a business week of steady ocean sailing, to have so many of us within sight of each other. This is exactly what we’re here for.
On to Phase Two: the Malacca Strait. We spent much of a wild first night avoiding squalls and growing cloud lines, and everyone was working through the early hours. Sleep was hard to find. I think we did more sail changes last night alone than we had over the 1,000 miles it took to get here. And with each sail change comes a trim change, and a trim change means moving equally as many things above deck as below it. We did manage to get around Camper at some point and we haven’t seen them since. That’s the way it works…and we know it all too well. You miss a cloud and it sets you back 10 miles, maybe more. It happened to us on leg one and leg two, and it’s nice to be on the other side of the fence for a change.
It’s not getting any colder out here either. The amount of food consumed in this heat is substantially lower – nobody wants to chow hot food – and it’s almost impossible to drink enough water. One indication of the kind of bodily stress these high temps can inflict is in visible weight loss: we’ve all gone 'Homie-G' with the lo-rider baggy shorts look. Thankfully, good and plentiful food is one of the greatest motivators to get wherever we’re going, so it only seems to make the boat faster!
Tune in to Episode 8 of the Pumacast series: So You Want to Build a Volvo 80. Puma's Mar Mostro began as a simple idea: build the world's strongest, fastest Volvo Open 70. Along the way a few other ideas popped up too...a transparent hull, black sails, giant octopus tentacles... Go behind the scenes and see the Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg team as they construct a high-tech, state of the art VO 70 from start to finish.
Ryan Godfrey taking sail profile pictures to analyze and document shape changes over the lifespan of a sail. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
Puma Ocean Racing website