The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race gets underway on October 29 in Alicante, Spain. For the PUMA Ocean Racing team, that means sailing Mar Mostro 800 miles from their training camp in the Canary Islands to the starting line. Here's an excerpt from skipper Ken Read's blog about getting ready from the PUMA website (for the full blog, click here):
Newport was terrific leading up to the Transatlantic Race. It provided a complete mix of weather both inshore and offshore – lots of different weather looks thrown at us. The local community treated us fantastic, and we were ready on July 3 for our first big test which was the race to England.
After a pretty successful race, we took a right turn and sailed downwind in the trades all the way to the Puerto Calero Marina. It’s a fairly secluded marine facility on one of the windiest islands I have ever been to. Every day you get up to what sounds like the roof of your apartment being blown off. "Here we go again," I would say to myself day after day – now I know what all the boys felt like that did the America’s Cup in Fremantle in 1987. The wind every day just wears you out, but it was exactly what we needed.
So, now we are paying for that fantastic downwind sail all the way to the Canaries. It is upwind for about 800 miles, against the trades and into the Mediterranean to Alicante, Spain, for the lead up and the start of the Volvo Ocean Race.