by Amory Ross
Volvo Ocean Race is on the seventh day of racing for leg one. Amory Ross, MCM, onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress:
Kelvin Harrap (far right) moving sails in wet conditions. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
And the heading still reads 240. Ever since we started from Alicante it feels like we’ve been heading west, with Cape Town almost 90 degrees to our left. Regrettably, that’s because we have. We just can’t seem to get there from here.
If it were as simple as turning our bow south, I promise you we’d be well on our way. But we’ve had to work our way through a series of troughs and ridges associated with these two frontal passes, and it’s proved far more complicated and lengthy than expected. So we push west, with Telefónica and Camper behind and on roughly the same path, and Groupama making up crazy miles off of Africa. While the tides have turned in their favor, it’s a long leg and we’re confident the right call to come out here was made at the right time; it just hasn’t played out as expected.
Someday soon (hopefully before we reach Antigua) we’ll be able to aim this darn boat towards Brazil and eat up some miles. Of course nobody likes waiting, so anxiety builds. But we’re all feeling a little more rested after a good night’s sleep, and that helps. And as frustrating as our westerly travels might be, it’s nights like these – a warm 9-knot breeze, full moon, and clear skies – that remind us why we’re just lucky enough to be out here. We’ll get to South Africa eventually… We just hope it’s before everyone else!
Casey Smith caddies a sail on the foredeck as it goes up the rig. 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)
Puma Ocean Racing website