Volvo Ocean Race - Puma ready for action

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG back on the water in Cape Town, South Africa.
Volvo Ocean Race - The crew aboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg were back on the water today in Cape Town, South Africa preparing for the In-Port Race on Saturday and the start of Leg 2. The crew has been on the water the past two days – the first sailing since Mar Mostro suffered a broken mast on November 21 and arrived in Cape Town on December 7.

'I’m just really excited to finish a race,' joked Puma skipper Ken Read. 'Up to today, we were really nervous about getting up to speed in time. But, this was a big day for us. It was really the first day we’ve had in a long time that everything happened without a hitch. We had no setbacks today. We just have to keep building on that, Take tomorrow for what it is – another opportunity to get some points and get our heads back into racing, then take on this next leg.'

Puma’s Mar Mostro and its 11-member crew will be on the starting line with five other teams tomorrow, Saturday, December 10, for the V&A Waterfront In-Port Race, scheduled to get underway at 13:00 UTC/15:00 local time in Cape Town. PUMA is currently in fifth position in the overall standings after retiring from Leg 1 of the race. The team finished second in the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain.

PUMA Ocena Racing suporter during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Cape Town stopover. (Photo Credit must read: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race)

'We’re so pleased that we’re here today,' Read said. 'For quite a while, it didn’t look good…in fact, it looked quite bad. If I were a betting man, about 15 days ago I would have bet that we weren’t going to make the start. But, due to a lot of a amazing work from a lot of amazing people, and a couple of lucky breaks, we’re here and that’s all we can ask for right now.'

The Puma team got off to a strong start in Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town. They were in second position on the leg when the mast broke the middle of the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town.

Fortunately, all crew were unhurt. The team was forced to retire from the leg, and make their way to the closest land for rescue – the island of Tristan da Cunha. The unexpected journey to Cape Town lasted 31 days, and the adventure included a search for fuel, six days on Tristan (known as the most remote inhabited island on earth)and a rare open sea transfer to a giant container ship. Now, Puma’s Mar Mostro is ready to race again after the replacement mast was stepped on Wednesday.

In-Port racing will be streamed live online on the VOR website and on the live section of the Volvo Ocean Race Youtube channel. Streaming begins five minutes before the 10-minute warning signal.

In-Port races are held at all 10 port stopovers. The race course is set to challenge the teams at close maneuvers and tactics as they round the buoys. Leg 2 of the race begins Sunday and will take the six teams in the race from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Volvo Ocean Race started on November 5 in Alicante, and the fleet is traveling 39,000 nautical miles through 10 ports, finishing in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012.

The Puma Ocean Racing team is once again under the leadership of Read (Newport, Rhode Island, United States). Collectively, the crew has won the Around the World Race six times.

The core includes:

Tom Addis, Navigator (Sydney, Australia); Ryan Godfrey, Pitman (Adelaide, Australia); Kelvin Harrap, Helmsman, Inshore Tactician (Napier, New Zealand);Brad Jackson, Design Coordinator and Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand);Rome Kirby, Trimmer and Driver (Newport, Rhode Island, USA); Michael 'Michi' Müller, Bowman (Kiel, Germany); Tony Mutter, Aerodynamics Coordinator and Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand); Casey Smith, Systems Manager and Bowman (Brisbane, Australia); Jonathan 'Jono' Swain, Helmsman and Trimmer (Durban, South Africa); Amory Ross, Media Crew Member (Newport, Rhode Island, USA); Kimo Worthington, General Manager (Portsmouth, Rhode Island, United States); and Tim Hacket, Shore Team Manager (Sydney, Australia).

Puma Ocean Racing website
Volvo Ocean Race website