Sunday, 22 March 2009

VOR: PUMA LEG FIVE DAY 36 QFB: received 21.03.09 1524 GMT

Sail repairs below decks, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, 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 Rick Deppe

Kenny's asked me to fill in for him today as he's been laid up with a bad stomach.

One thing’s for sure it's not from overeating, we are slowly starting to move into a rationing situation. The food was planned out for a 36 day leg, which is tomorrow. Add to that the fact we had a strangely contaminated batch of food on one of the earlier days so essentially today is our last day of regular food... starting tomorrow we're into the emergency bags containing lots of protein powder and cereal.

No-one’s going to die of starvation but it's not going to be much fun either and definitely not an ideal situation. For sure one we could do without in terms of bringing our ‘A’ game to the final push to the finish. I'm sure we'll be well taken care of when we arrive in Rio.

And just ‘how well’ and ‘with what’ is the topic of much conversation on these seemingly endless four hour watches. One worrying question that has been raised; after six weeks of freeze dried ‘mush’ will our bodies even be able to handle one of those big South American steak's or the first cold beer? Only one way to find out... get there and give it a try

Andrew Cape made the quote to me yesterday that, ‘It's a big ocean, but it’s getting smaller’. Onboard Il Mostro it's starting to feel as though we are running out of time and opportunities to catch the Ericssons, who are respectively about 200 and 100 miles ahead of us. Unfortunately they sit between us and the finish. Right now, in simple terms they just sail into everything before us: they sail into a light patch and we catch up some miles, they get through the light patch and the mileage stabilises, then we sail into the light patch and they gain some miles. At the moment it’s looking like a few more hundred miles of this and then a straight shot into Rio.

Very frustrating and with every three hour sched the ocean definitely gets a bit smaller.

Volvo Ocean Race

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