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Still at School

VOR

Still at School

We haven’t given the boys on Puma much love, and today’s on board report
from Kenny Read is a good look at how close it is out there. Enjoy.

Leg 1 Day 15 – OCTOBER 24, 2008

Three’s company out here in the Atlantic. We have been accused of making
this a match race so far because we have been in very close contact
with E4 for just about all of the race.

So today we lost E4 off to leeward and on comes Telefonica Black to
take their spot in the rotation. They were quick jib reaching so we
got another chance to go to school on our trim and learned a ton. Finally
the breeze came aft and we got to put up some big gear and put them
back on the horizon behind us pretty quick. Very nice feeling aboard
"the monster" to find a nice angle that we like with a sail
combination that we knew we liked and see it all work in short order.

So, a rest for the stressed you may think? No boats in sight for a
while and we get to relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful nights
I can ever remember? Forget it! As soon as we found a combination that
put some distance on Black, all of a sudden E4 appears right in front
of us about 3 miles away! Good news is we are slowly gaining on the
two boats ahead. Bad news is the stress meter remains high. Actually
on reflection I wouldn’t call it stress at all, just the competitive
juices flowing at fairly high levels. All part of the sport I guess.

The horrid heat is slowly backing off and life down below is becoming
a bit more tolerable. Doesn’t mean it smells any better, just a bit
more tolerable. We have one luxury on this yacht. One fan per person
in each bunk, and you protect the health and well being of that fan
as if it was your child. During the hottest days the fan was the only
reprieve and made sleeping almost manageable. Remember, we have a black
boat with a red cockpit floor. Pretty much a heat absorber on a good
day (thanks Antonio). Mix in light winds creating almost no circulation
below, 11 stinky guys (a couple with terminal gas problems) and some
bad freeze dried food- and you have the makings of a living condition
that would be condemned in most states in the US. Check that- all states.

Besides that, life couldn’t be any better- 11 boys getting along and
pushing quite hard. Having company around us all the time tends to do
that.

– Kenny