Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 second stage of leg three, from Maldives to Sanya, kicked off today. Puma’s Mar Mostro was off to a strong start. The starting gun sounded at 08:00 UTC/13:00 local in the safe haven port of Male in the Maldives, and the fleet began the more than 3,000 nautical mile race to the fourth port of Sanya, China.
'The entire Puma team is really excited to get this race back to normal,' said skipper Ken Read. 'Finally it appears we are done… for the most part… with pirates, ships and delays. And it comes not a moment too soon – we are ready. Let's go to China!'
The fleet departed Male in 8-10 knots of breeze, and the Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg team was second behind Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand at the first position reports. Puma is currently fourth in the overall standings with 36 points. The crew finished second in the first stage of leg three on Saturday, January 14 – the sprint from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah, 98 nm up the UAE coastline.
'Another strange start!' said Amory Ross, Media Crew Member, in his first report from onboard. 'The line was between one flag on one shore and a radio tower on another; there were virtually no spectators, tons of ferries, fishing boats, and more obstacles to dodge leading up to the gun. But we're now back to ‘ocean racing,’ something we haven't been able to say in almost a month.'
As was the case with leg two, the leg three route was redrawn and split into two stages due to the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Stage one was the one-day sprint to Sharjah. There, the boats were loaded onto a container ship – the Happy Diamond – and transported back to the safe haven port of Male, where they first arrived at during leg two. The first stage of leg three accounted for 20 percent over the available leg points, and 80 percent of the points will be awarded for stage two.
The Volvo Ocean Race started on November 5 in Alicante, and the six-team fleet is traveling 39,000 nautical miles through 10 ports, finishing in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012. The Race Village in Sanya opens on February 4. Overall standings: POS Team L3, S1 / Overall
1 Team Telefónica 3 / 71
2 Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand 2 / 64
3 Groupama Sailing Team 4 / 51
4 Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg 5 / 36
5 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 6 / 31
6 Team Sanya * - / 11
* Suspended racing in leg 2 Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg scoring: POS Race/Leg Pts / Total
2 Alicante In-Port Race 5 / 5
- Leg 1* - / 5
3 Cape Town In-Port Race 4 / 9
3 Leg 2, Stage 1 16 / 25
4 Leg 2, Stage 2 (3rd in Leg 2 overall) 3 / 28
4 Abu Dhabi In-Port Race 3 / 31
2 Leg 3, Stage 1 5 / 36
* Retired from leg Puma Ocean Racing website