Saturday, 27 June 2009

VOR: PUMA - A new Pitman!

by Rick Deppe

There comes a point where you just cant keep you're eyes open anymore. You'll find yourself in a comfy position somewhere and that's it! You are powerless and at that point its a simple case of what will wake you up.

It happened to me about 30 minutes ago when I was woken from my perfect sleep to the sound of all hell breaking loose on deck. I must have fallen asleep about an hour before. I staggered on deck to find the guys making a change from the Masthead Genoa back to the J1. Things didn't appear to be going well, the top batten was getting caught up in the shrouds and they had to keep dropping the sail about three metres to try and clear it. Looking astern I could see that we were nicely clear of all the boats but one, but I couldn't make out who the nearest boat was because the sun was so low on the horizon behind us. Capey informed me that it was Tele-Black.

We had made a nice gain on Tele-Blue and E 3, which was a relief because in my last blog we had been worried about Blue potentially crossing us.

Justin is off for this leg awaiting the birth of his second child. This leaves a big hole in the trimming department that Salty has jumped into which in turn leaves a big hole in the pit area. Michi now finds himself taking care of the pit while Jerry jumps back in on the bow.

I could see the frustration on Michi's face in the pit as the guys wrestled with the J1 and then once that was fixed he had to jump onto dropping the Masthead Genoa. The guys did a great job of getting out of trouble and we lost little ground on Tele Black. This crew takes boat handling very seriously - ask the E3 guys about the final beat into Sandham on the last leg - but it's never easy once you start switching people around. We had no choice but once again Michi came through with flying colors.

Leg 10 is turning into a fight all the way to the finish.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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