Amory Ross on the VOR: The ol' changeroo

Amory Ross on the VOR: The ol' changeroo

Tuesday November 8 2011 Author: Amory Ross Location: none selected

We’ve had the ‘ole switcharoo. After finally getting sorted onboard in the violent conditions, the wind has completely died and left us drifting out here (time to move the stack again). This morning’s winds have departed and we find ourselves cloud hunting under the Code-0 with all three of our remaining competitors in sight. Telefonica sits almost abeam and to leeward, Camper and Groupama further away in the same general direction. We each seem to have our moments. We are committed to our northerly positioning and the goal is still to stay this side of the fleet in anticipation of new wind filling from the north down. Even if it’s a header, the first of us to get a nose into more velocity is the first of us that gets to leave.

As dreadful as the wind situation might be, even more so are some of the wardrobe changes onboard. We’ve all buried our boots and opted for lighter sneakers, but a few of the crew have brought along the newly acquired PUMA amphibious-like shoes. 1) They are purple and yellow; 2) I will take a picture in secret, as I know nobody would ever want to be seen in them! It’s also the first time a few of our socks have hit the open air since Alicante, and it’s awful.

The onboard environment has calmed considerably since the first night, but we’re aware the “good life” (dry socks, a quiet boat, prime eating weather) won’t last forever. The forecast is calling for breeze tonight and then two additional cold fronts bringing 20-30 knots and more upwind boat-beating conditions. Then we get to turn south in a few days and start the warm downwind run to Brazil we’re all excited for.

ABove: Michi Müller cleans the starboard daggerboard with a bottle of McLube, probably the only guy on the boat tall enough to do it. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)

Ryan Godfrey trimming the inboard sheet of the Code 0. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)

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