Telefonica and Mother Nature

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Leg 1 Day 15 Blog from Kenny

I have written this sentence in my head what feels like a hundred times now, knowing that I was going to do my blog tonight. And, it never sounds good. We got our butts handed to us today by Telefonica and by Mother Nature.

I first give Capey (Andrew Cape) and the boys on Telefónica a lot of credit. They put on their left blinker at Fernando and never looked back. They committed to the high lane, and by the time we wanted to start to lean in that direction as well, we simply could never get there. But I must admit, we were quite pleased with our low road at the time. In fact, as the sun broke this morning we had a sched that had us a degree higher and a half knot faster. And, we were thinking, "This is just starting to come good for us today."

That is when Mother Nature intervened. A cloud line started to appear on the satellite photos that we got late this am which started to seal our fate. To the west of that cloud line was a huge right shift and light air (us). To the east of the cloud line or convergence was a left shift and more wind (them). Bottom line, Telefónica was hauling tail all day and PUMA was trying desperately to tackle small squall after small squall, which shifted the breeze through a 50 degree range and literally sucked all the wind off the ocean at times.

Very, very frustrating, and (knock on wood) hopefully the most frustrating day for a long time to come.

I know the arm chair sailors are saying, "Why didn't you cover?" Well, it’s not exactly that easy. First, we liked what we were doing. Second, it is a big ocean and when you can't see your competitor its hard to cover. Third, a lot can happen in a 3 hour period which is when we get position report updates. And finally, we don't want to be reactionary. That is the easiest way to get reeled in from behind.

Unfortunately, we are still paying for this mistake. Although we are now to the east of the convergence, there is clearly more wind up where Telefónica is and the rich keep getting richer.

So we take our medicine, live to fight another day and don't let this get us down (sorry…all bad clichés but nonetheless appropriate). Still more than 2,500 miles to go. You know the speech.

Doesn't make it any easier, though. No great speeches. No rah-rah talk. Time to get back to work and try and stop the bleeding first, make gains second.

I really wish I had something to talk about that was a little more fun. Hopefully tomorrow.


Ken Read


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