Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Puma Racing: Almost Home

May 12, 2010 - If all goes well we should be at the dock this evening at the Newport Shipyard about 1900 pm local time- not a moment too soon because it is bloody cold out here.

The trip has been eventful, and not exactly wonderful, blue water sailing. I can say that the sea state since we went past Madera has been simply awful. Head on no matter where we were going or what the wind was doing, and the breeze managed to be forward of the beam about 80% of the time.

With that said, it has been a great trip as well. Good team building time for our new group. An eye opening trip for brother Brad Read and sail designer Steve Calder, who are crossing the Atlantic for the first time. Despite having the “what the hell am I doing here” look on their faces from time to time, both have been fantastic helpers and great part of the team. And I think they are both already starting to forget the bad times and only remember the good, although they are certainly not forgetting the cold right now. Did mention it is cold?

One certain way to know it is cold is if you look in the bunks and the sleeping bags are zipped to the top and just a small parts of each person’s head is poking out. That is where we are at right now. In fact, navigator Tom Addis was so tucked into his sleeping bag I actually gave the bunk a shake to make sure he was in it- to make sure he was still on board.

Now it is back to work tomorrow breaking down the boat, debriefing the crossing and trying to continue to learn from the past, leaning toward the future. Next up for il mostro is the New York Yacht Club Spring Regatta and the Newport-Bermuda Race. Neither will be competitive for us because there are no other Volvo 70’s and we have to race with handicap rules against all the other boats who are optimized for handicap style racing, but we will stay in the VOR rule configuration and try to continue to look to the future and what the ultimate goal is.

So finally il mostro is coming home, back to where it all started. She has sailed nearly 55,000 miles since we left Newport after a summer of training in August of 2008- seems like a thousand years ago. I was pretty emotional that day we left Newport as I knew the adventure of a lifetime was just beginning and I really didn’t know where that adventure was going to take us. Turns out it was the adventure of a lifetime. But I would have never said that there would be a sequel to that first act. PUMA Ocean Racing Part Two begins with il mostro coming home. Not as a ending but as a new beginning.

So its bye for now, and great to be back reporting on the trials and tribulations of il mostro. See you in Newport.