Amory Ross on the VOR: Frustrating night

Amory Ross on the VOR: Frustrating night

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

It’s been a long night on PUMA’s Mar Mostro for the PUMA Ocean Racing squad. Frustration with progress – or lack thereof – is never productive, but it’s amazing how hard the guys are working for every inch of the course. Small gains of .5 a mile or so are miniscule to the big picture (Leg 1 is almost 7,000 miles long), but crucial to being the first boat out of this early tactical conundrum. There already appears to be a split in the fleet, which at this stage in the leg is traditionally very rare.

Our navigator, Tom Addis, has done a great job staying patient, and at 2:45 AM the winds finally returned, and this time it for good. We’re still the farthest boat north and sailing upwind at a heading of 270 (due east) in 8-10 knots of wind, and that’s taking us directly towards the first of two frontal systems we’ll encounter over the next 24-48 hours. The first and smaller of the two should bring 20 knots for a short period of time, but the second – the larger one – will almost certainly make life difficult again. Once we’re through those we can start to look south, but there’s obviously plenty to do and prepare for in the meantime.

The mood onboard is great and everyone seems to be settling in now for the long haul. It always takes a bit of time for the body to adjust to the hours out here, but given the heinous way we started this race that process probably took a little bit longer. I’m falling into my very different routine (which has no schedule), and I think the magnitude of what I’ve signed up for is starting to sink in. There was so much to do when we left Alicante between the live TV, goodbyes, last minute tasks, and then the first day’s challenges; there hasn’t been much time to reflect. Thankfully I’m still very excited!

Below: Jono Swain keeps his patience while steering Mar Mosto through extremely patchy winds.



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