Tuesday, 16 June 2009

VOR: PUMA LEG NINE DAY 2 QFB; received 15.06.09 1509 GMT

Taking sails in, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, on leg 9 from Marstrand to Stockholm. Image copyright Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Kenny Read (skipper)

The drag race is on, and I hope and pray that the wind holds out. We have all kinds of conflicting weather data, but reality is that there is a 16-knot westerly pushing us toward the finish and we are very happy it is here.

Today (really there is no night so I guess today is all day) has been a bit of a mix up. Early am we were gybing around the southern tip of Sweden and we got ourselves a bit close to shore and the Ericssons made a gain on us. In fact, Ericsson 4 passed us there. We got offshore, about a half-mile behind Ericsson 4 and a mile ahead of Ericsson 3, the wind picked up a bit into the mid twenties, and Ericsson 4 started to show her stuff. But, we hung on, and have been within a mile all day.

Then the wind completely and fairly unexpectedly crapped out for us both. Reaching along at 15 knots and bang, on the wind in 5 knots. Where did that come from?

Ericsson 3 watched the whole thing from a couple miles behind and literally sailed around us both. Not a good trend for the il mostro.

But, in the weirdness, we got some leverage to the west of the Ericsson twins and the wind filled back in from the old direction and we just got around the bow of both of them, reaching to the finish. Very exciting and all on right now. These two boats aren't slow so we have our hands full. Hopefully just let the old girl hunt a bit and all will be well.

Sorry, this is all I have time for. Plenty happening on deck. Later.

Volvo Ocean Race

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