but wait, there’s more…

on board

but wait, there’s more…

Leg 2, Day 15
26 December 2011 
Ken Read, Skipper, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 

The ultimate game of highs and lows. That is what we play every minute of every day. And this Leg 2 has been the clearest example of that.  We’re 25 miles out of our undisclosed finish. OK, if that isn’t bizarre enough on its own. But wait, there is clearly more.   

It would be a great project for someone at Volvo headquarters to figure out how many lead changes there have been in this leg. Not lead changes toward the mark, but lead changes toward where the fleet wanted to go. My guess is there have been 50 lead changes. Heck, CAMPER and ourselves probably did 20 of those one night alone! 

As has been well documented, just getting into this leg was a pretty large challenge for the PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team. But, it was done and done so well that we had no excuses on this leg. The boat and all of the parts and pieces performed very well for us. Sure we had a few bumps and bruises, but nothing that the group couldn’t overcome. Very impressive. 

The boat also is a platform in which we can build on. Hopefully we have time during these multiple short stops to get some work done towards making the boat faster. If we are going to get back into this race overall, it must be our time to shine. And we plan on getting back into it overall.  By the way, we need those boys on CAMPER and Telefónica to help just a little. Something they have shown reluctant to do. 

The final dash to secure a podium position shows the resolve of this group. We could have cashed it in with Groupama having a 50 mile lead on us coming out of the doldrums, but forget about it. No feeling sorry for ourselves. Peddle down, including a bit of a harrowing and very long 40 knot squall in the dead of night, and slowly but surely got the job done. Little victories – our move onto the podium, yet a victory nonetheless that hopefully we can build on. 

Now it is time for quick self reflection on how we can all do our jobs better. And of course time with the family which we can all use right about now. It has been really hot, we are pretty stinky, in need of a cold beer and a good solid hug from a daughter that I haven’t seen since the beginning of September.   

Our motto has changed. The shore team changed up our theme song to Aerosmith’s "Back in the Saddle." Very appropriate. But, now that we are officially back, its time to do more. 

Until next time. 
– Kenny