Puma's Amory Ross on the VOR: Technical Tuesday

Puma's Amory Ross on the VOR: Technical Tuesday

Tuesday December 20 2011 Author: Amory Ross Location: none selected

Happy Technical Tuesday from onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro. For this official Volvo Ocean Race MCM initiative we’ll be paying particular attention to health: health of the boat and those of us that call it home. There is no more fitting a topic after a long day of Indian Ocean shellacking than our own well being.

We’re currently getting hammered by 20-25 knot winds and a brutal upwind seaway, but I’m happy to report that health is high. As far as we go, we’re all fit and in shape physically. We’ve been getting good exercise and nutritional advice from our team trainer Mike (who comes to every stopover), and that sets everyone up well for the start of the race. But that’s where the progress stops; once we’re racing the focus turns to maintenance.

“With so little time at the stopovers and so little space on the boats there’s really not much exercise to get, so the name of the game becomes prevention,” says onboard medic Rome Kirby. “Small things turn into big problems, and since we’re eating bad food and beating ourselves up, it’s things like rest and supplements (vitamins) that can make the biggest differences.”

We all have our hurts, but the reality is there’s no way to live on one of these boats and not be in some degree of pain, so we do our best to ignore it and carry on. The same can be said of our beloved boat.

Breaking our mast in three parts after 17 days of racing wasn’t planned, and the boat (arguably) suffered more than we did. But VO70s are built to a strong code and Mar Mostro races on, all things considered, in very good health.

“When you look at what it’s been through we’re in really good shape,” says boat captain and bowman Casey Smith. “We have some obvious rig tuning left to do with the old mast and there are some non-structural areas that need some attention, particularly around the keel area. But, this race is so short and our time in each port even shorter, we need to prioritize our work lists and just concentrate on the majors.”

As we suffer the might of another rough night at sea, it’s obvious this boat and the 11 of us on it are in good health. Here’s to that never changing!

- Amory

Jono Swain and Rome Kirby (background) take a momentary rest after moving the sail stack further back in the boat. 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) 

The sun sets on a wet and windy day of sailing in the South Indian Ocean. 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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