by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race is on day thirteen of racing for leg one. Amory Ross, MCM, onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:
King Neptune arrives on PUMA’s Mar Mostro to grant passage across the Equator to first-timers Rome Kirby and Amory Ross. Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Hello and goodbye! That’s been the theme for the past 24 hours and it’s a good reminder that this leg is far from over. We crossed the equator late yesterday morning, and we’ve just rounded the little rock of Fernando de Noronha at about 4:30 AM UTC. Both were welcome sights but collectively nothing to dwell on. We were as happy to put them behind us as we were to see first see them on the horizon. Our real objective is Cape Town, still over 2,500 miles to the southeast, and that’s a lot of time and distance to continue fending off the Telefónica onslaught.
King Neptune (Tony Mutter) and Codfish (Ryan Godfrey) make a guest appearance on PUMA's "Mar Mostro" at the Equator to greet crew members Rome Kirby and Amory Ross at their first crossing. 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: Tom Addis/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
I believe, and I may be mistaken, that we’ve now reached the halfway point of this leg (in miles, not days). Most people are anxious to get to South Africa right now – we’ve been getting messages from friends and family already there – but I on the other hand, after yesterday’s Neptune encounter, could use a few extra days out here. As a sacrifice to the very god himself, Rome and I lost a tuft of head hair from a rather prominent front-row location. It’s debatable, but I believe my tuft was larger. In a moment of pure impulsiveness, I grabbed the scissors and finished what had been started. It’s a decision I instantly regretted. Several of the New Zealanders on the boat think I look like a Kiwi sheep that’s just been sheared! Either way, a few more days of topiary growth would do me well.
King Neptune's partner Codfish sacrifices a dollop of Rome Kirby's hair after crossing the Equator for the first time. 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: Tom Addis/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)
Rome has decided to keep his current style – a decision that undoubtedly was made easier by my own trimming results. We otherwise escaped our crossing unharmed, and we look forward to seeing the King again, but from a very different vantage point.
And so we continue on, the Puma Ocean Racing Team powered by Berg. Antics, rendezvous, Brazilian islands, kings and imaginary lines all behind us. Nothing stands between this boat and Cape Town now but the open ocean.
Puma Ocean Racing website