Friday, 20 March 2009

VOR: PUMA LEG FIVE DAY 34 QFB: received 19.03.09 0025 GMT

PUMA Ocean Racing leave the Southern Ocean behind, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Image copyright Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Kenny Read (skipper)

Flat water and a bit less sting to the breeze greeted the fine yacht today as we travel north towards Brazil. Still one dilemma though. What is it with these damn islands always being in the way! Fiji on the other side, which we had to cut through (which seems like a lifetime ago) and now the Falklands. There is a big ocean out here and we are magnets to land.

Life onboard has taken a significant turn for the more liveable, even though we are crawling towards Rio at this point. Our sleigh ride ran out about 100 miles from Cape Horn and since, we have had flat seas and light breezes which have done one thing in a big way: made for some incredibly sound sleeping!! Maybe the deepest sleep I can ever remember having, when Capey (Andrew Cape) woke me to go on deck for a sail change this morning, I had absolutely no idea where I was. Couldn't find any of my gear (which was right in front of me). I guess I could have been hung over from that sip of rum at the Horn. Don't think so.

This is going to be a tricky bit of the race. Each three hour sched is showing huge gains and losses for each of us. Believe me there is a method to the madness, as boats aren't exactly taking three hours off to rest. The spacing of the boats is proving to have just enough room to create your own little weather situation that can be significantly different from the other boats. Kind of a yo-yo effect.
Sometimes you are going down on the string, but nearly always you will come back up as well. Objective is to have more ups than downs. At least for IL Mostro.

We actually had hatches open and a bit of air out today and people are looking and acting like completely different humans. Amazing what it feels like not to be wet 24 hours a day. I don't think any of us are going to miss that for a while. A change of socks and undies was a major highlight for me personally. You see, we are dealing with the little things in life out here. For example one of our snacks was a real granola bar today for the first time in the trip. It tasted so good that my eyes started to well up. Not really, but it was really good.

So, game on from here to the end. We are going to need to get lucky for sure and we will need to know what to do with the luck if it gets thrown in our lap. For sure we help make our own luck but, with that said, opportunity is needed.

You can throw that opportunity our way any time you wish.

Volvo Ocean Race

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