Tuesday, 24 February 2009

VOR: PUMA LEG FIVE DAY 9 QFB: received 22.02.09 2226 GMT

by Kenny Read (skipper)

We had a phenomenal day on the 22nd. Our PUMA family welcomed a new member.

Michi Mueller and his partner Meike brought a new healthy baby girl into this world. Mia Carlotta.

One small problem. Michi is out here with us!!!!

Ok Ok, I can hear the wheels turning in your heads. Did he know? Yes of course he did.

It is a bit of a theme on this craft though. Our media guru Ricky Deppe did a similar deed when he was aboard Chessie Racing in the 1997-98 Whitbread Race. September 25, 1997 is a day that his daughter Isabelle good naturedly ribs him about all the time, he claims. The day she was born and he was sailing to Cape Town on the first leg of this race.

I have said many times that the day my daughter Tory was born was the greatest in my life. I thought I was going to be one of those people passing out in the corner (not a huge fan of even a paper cut to be honest, never mind the birthing process). It was anything but that. It was simply incredible.

With all this said, I know Michi is a proud, but sad Dad today. His commitment to this programme is nothing short of spectacular. I asked him if he wanted out of this leg and he told me he had committed to this a long time ago and would fulfil his commitment. In not quite as many words as that. He did stash a bottle of champagne on board that came out around the middle of the night last night in a frenzy of peeling bubble wrap off of a warm bottle of bubbly. Michi said it was the best he ever tasted. And we have a slightly grander party planned for him today.

Michi, like any true professional, is back at work, on his watch, doing what Michi does best. Which is a little of everything on this boat. But there is no doubt that his eyes can be seen wandering from time to time, back to Kiel Germany where Meike and Mia are together no doubt missing the man of the family. At least that is what we guys hope happens...

Welcome Mia. Congratulations Meike. And Michi, you now have the first reason for your daughter to give you grief. And believe me (and I only say this lovingly) daughters don't need much of an excuse to give their fathers grief from time to time. Like Ricky and his daughter, my guess is that you get a good natured ribbing from Mia for the rest of your life. One thing is for certain though; the other 10 guys on board il Mostro are selfishly very pleased that you decided to come with us. Maybe your words, that you had ‘committed’, will be her first life lesson as well.

Volvo Ocean Race

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