Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 final qualifying race started on Friday 7th October 2011 from the port of Alicante in Spain.
The Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion team was second to finish the final qualifying race, arriving back at port early Sunday morning at 06:48:54 GMT. Telefónica was first in at 05:45:24 GMT.
Designed as an opportunity to test safety procedures, all teams completed the mandatory checklist during the two nights at sea. Among the items on the list: putting up the storm sails, testing the emergency rudder and practicing a man overboard drill…not to worry, they didn’t use a real person. Skipper Ken Read:
'A ton was accomplished and a lot was learned, especially when you’re thrown up against five other very similar boats for the first time. It was great to see the line-ups and great to start beginning to guess at speed differences. But, at this point it is clearly still a guess.
'This weekend was also really good for our onboard communication, especially between Tom Addis and me. There were a lot of changing conditions that we had to stay on top of.
'We sailed well to get to Palma first, and that was really the race. Once we turned the corner, we put the spinnaker up for a while and then waited until it was time to test the emergency rudder. Everyone has a different configuration to actually put the emergency rudder onto the transom, and with our system we physically have to take our sails down while other teams have cassettes that allow them to leave all their sails up. We literally stopped for about a half hour to put it on and another 10 minutes to take it off, and most of the others kept moving and caught up and some passed us at that stage…which made it hard to get psyched up again to race. But, we did some smart things on the way back and got ourselves back into it.
'Overall, this was a good test for everybody – both for our team and for the Volvo organizers. We’ll now finalize work lists, and then everyone goes home for 10 days. It’s a much-needed break, and a lot of us haven’t seen our families in a while. Then, we’ll come back and it’s right into the Volvo Ocean Race. Fortunately, it’s something most of us have done before. We know how the game is played both on and off the water. So, we’ll get as much rest as possible, then jump into it.' Puma Sailing website