Sunday, 24 May 2009

VOR: PUMA - We Have the Hammer Down!

Justin Ferris repairing sails, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, on leg 7 from Boston to Galway. Image copyright Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Rick Deppe

E4 have a healthy 30 mile lead, but with 270 miles to go, we are once again in a neck and neck battle to the finish. However, things are little different today. This time it is a three way scrap with, as always our old rivals on the relentless Tele-Blue, and even more exciting- there's a new player at the big money table...

Green Dragon boys are having a blinder and currently sit about one mile behind us but 15 miles to the north. Our tracks will converge at some point later today and then it is game on all the way to the finish.

For sure we want them to do well, but we want to see them in third and between us and the "Boys on Blue" even more. I don't normally like to write like this but for now, we have the hammer down ALL THE WAY, (our amp goes to 11) the boat is just going incredibly fast right now and the hull is screaming. It's hard to explain the sensation, but when the boat really gets going there's a sort of weightlessness that tries to lift me up and off the seat- very strange and very real! The speedo is out of the water most of the time but I'm seeing a lot of 25’s and 27’s. Yesterday we hit a nice high of 38.9 knots

Ireland is looking very large on the chart and the guys are ready to be there. This has been a tough leg- a lot of cold weather and tough conditions, although thankfully not much upwind...hint, hint. These boats are actually pretty cool downwind- in fact I think it's what they were conceived for!

That first step ashore will feel as sweet as always and I'm sure the welcome will be fantastic- especially if we finish around the same time as the Dragons, this could be interesting.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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