Volvo Ocean Race - Drama for Puma Ocean Racing

A quick reef before a rain squall arrives. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Volvo Ocean Race is on the eleventh day of racing for leg one. Amory Ross, MCM, onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:

Things are heating up around here, literally and figuratively. We’re currently about 50 miles from exiting the Doldrums and we have seen nothing of the sail-flapping drift off from past races. It has been wet, windy, and frenzied, and credit goes to Tom Addis for staying patient and calculated through it all.

Skipper Ken Read at the wheel in windy conditions. 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)

After a couple days of easy sailing, we were unprepared for some of the stronger winds we first encountered yesterday afternoon, and that set us back on our competitors for sure. When we entered this region of 'lost days' sometime last night, Telefónica was almost abeam of us. Since then we’ve recovered nicely and have regained our southerly position, but progress hasn’t been without its drama. Naturally unpredictable weather has done its best to keep us busy, and tonight has been one of squall dodging and sail changing; everyone’s tired.

It has also become uncomfortably hot below deck. We smell bad enough as it is, but we now have the equatorial heat and humidity to make things worse. Clothes won’t dry, sleeping is hard, and life is generally less relaxed. The fans are on and the shirts are off!

The winds have just eased slightly to 13 knots, we’ve re-stacked the weight forward, and everybody’s settling back into the current watch schedule; hopefully there will be a few hours without disruption so we can play a bit of catch up.

Puma Ocean Racing website