speed, freaks

Leg 1, Day 8
12 November 2011
Amory Ross

WE. ARE. OUTTA HERE!! And it is about time. Ever since I stepped on this bloody boat we’ve been going upwind and we are finally sailing low and fast. The timing was impeccable, too, as I’ve been hearing rumors that the other guys think I’m cursed and were planning an early sacrifice to King Neptune with my heave over the side.

The treasured breeze we’ve been patiently waiting for arrived early last night and PUMA’s Mar Mostro has been making good on the miles ever since. We’re averaging about 22 knots over the last six hours and the expected jibe south is only a few hours away. That, in itself, is a massive boost for morale, as is the obvious fun factor of letting this boat “run.”

On a personal note, last night was a bit like Christmas Eve for me – I hardly slept. I have been waiting a very, very, long time to experience a boat like this downwind in breeze, and by the time things started ramping up I was well into the rhythm of cooking dinner and working at the computer; my first daytime experience on deck would wait until the morning.

But lying in my bunk, the noise – the feel – of being inside one of these things, everything just screams “holy hell we are flying.” Imagine yourself climbing inside a Formula 1 car, but with a blindfold. Would it make any difference? Absolutely not. Just like 5500 rpms would put your head against the back of the seat, walking around this boat right now you better be holding on, because the acceleration when it takes off is real, and so is the “braking” at the other end. And man, it is LOUD. The water rushing underneath and around you, and the sudden rush of a wave over the deck; there is a palpable sense of speed.

So here I find myself working again, after cooking another meal, but this time the sun is rising in a few hours and you can bet I’ll be up there to see it.