Puma's Amory Ross on the VOR: How to tackle the high

Puma's Amory Ross on the VOR: How to tackle the high

Monday December 19 2011 Author: Amory Ross Location: none selected

Tom’s “inevitable” finally became inevitable, and consequently it’s been a day full of tactical decisions; he’s been busy!

A little after 7:00AM UTC [Sunday] PUMA’s Mar Mostro managed to cross the frontal system that we’ve been chasing since we left Cape Town. And since Sanya circled it to the north and Groupama to the south, we became the first boat to actually complete that passage. It happened just like we thought it would, and just like we had set ourselves up for on the four previous days of trying. This time, though, our vein of wind held just long enough. Shortly after we punched through, so too did CAMPER and Telefónica, and thus began the second stage of our race.

The next point of tactical interest for the day was the high pressure system sitting to our east. How far would we dig into it before for our final tack to the north? The further in you go the bigger the lift and the better your exit angle, but the more sailing you do east and away from the mark to the north. Conversely, the less you dig in the worse your exit angles, but the quicker you start heading north. We opted for a more southerly route than CAMPER and Telefónica, extending the furthest into it, but we’re now all on starboard tack and heading north to our next race waypoint of secret location. There are still roughly 2,500 miles to go though, some of them treacherous and tricky, and nobody is reading into the current positions much at all.

More important is the sense of relief onboard. Everyone seems at ease with the knowledge that the frustration of the last week is literally now behind us. The sun came out, plenty of blue sky and plenty of smiles, all around. Very refreshing!

The winds are supposed to build overnight so it’s time to go get some much-needed rest.

- Amory

 

Ken Read and Tom Addis discuss the day's weather options at the nav station. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)

Tony Mutter trimming the mainsail for Kelvin Harrap, driving. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)

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