Abu Dhabi Sprint

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Sprint Leg 2 Stage 2 Finish into Abu Dhabi.
 

Onboard updated from Amory during the sprint into Abu Dhabi for the finish of Leg 2.  We update with the lastest news PUMA's Mar Mostro as it comes in.

Update #3- Received at 12:50 UTC

A disappointing result for PUMA’s Mar Mostro, but our very first leg finish of this race nonetheless. We are confident in our boat handling – especially in heavier air – but we were definitely a tick off the pace today. To watch Groupama sail away from us as quickly as they did was surprising; we knew we were slow on a close reach, but we weren't aware how much so. I think it's safe to say we are now! It was a long day, a pretty grueling day (it's hard to jump onto a VO70 in this weather after a week of not sailing), but we went fast and fast is always fun.

After almost reeling CAMPER in near the finish but coming up just short, we have to take a fourth-place finish and recoup on land. We're all excited to be in Abu Dhabi with the boat now, and we'll be starting the process of cleaning it up after spending so much time on the back of a ship. We were joking that our boat has been shipped more than sailed... Our worklist still has a lot left over from Cape Town so we'll be looking to get going ASAP! 

 

Update #3- Received 10:30 GMT:

We're going slow. It stinks, but it's what's going on onboard PUMA right now. We were overpowered so we put in a reef, now were underpowered so we're taking it out – 19-20 knots almost on the nose. We've fallen in behind CAMPER, firmly in fourth place. It was pretty amazing to watch Groupama just take off...they're looking really fast right now. And Telefónica looks way too far in front! But we're all working hard to stay positive here and keep this thing going.

The angles should widen up soon allowing for some faster sailing. Maybe a chance to make up some ground? We've got about 20 miles until the last mark – about an hour – before we bear away, set a downwind sail, and head straight for Abu Dhabi 

 

Update #2- Received 08:30 GMT:

The right side didn't pan out exactly as we'd hoped, and the breeze has stayed pretty square – maybe even gone left a bit – which favored Telefónica coming out of the opposite corner as us. We're now all lined up on starboard tack, about 30 miles to the next turning mark. We're below Camper and both of us are behind Telefónica, but we're happy with our boat speed for the moment and so long as the wind doesn't go any further left we should lay this next mark without having to talk.

We are in a vulnerable position though, a tack would kill us with Groupama and Abu Dhabi lined up 10 boat lengths or so to weather and off of our hip. Life is still uncomfortable as anything out here. We're in offshore sailing mode, but everyone's hiking and we are completely stacked. Everything. The head is empty, the galley is empty, gear we aren't wearing is bagged and buried somewhere. It looks quite different down below! 

 

Update #1- Received 06:20 GMT:

So we're off to Abu Dhabi, again. Only this time we may actually get there!

The local Shamal--a strong desert wind--is kicking up a good short chop that's making life difficult. It's been a little while since we've been out here and conditions are by no means ideal for getting our sea legs back.  Shortly after the start I had to go below to edit and I'm not feeling well  at all. The boat's lurching, slamming, and bouncing around like a toy in a bathtub as we bash upwind and out into the deeper water. Once there we'll turn left and sail downwind, which should provide plenty of good thrills in this straight line drag race for a few extra points. We're the furthest boat right and to leeward, which is exactly where we set out to be as we expect the breeze to gradually tick right, so things are going well so far!

Stay tuned.

Sailing