Volvo Ocean Race 2011/2012 – The Puma Ocean Racing Team has been announced today. The team comprises of 10 of the most elite off-shore sailors from across the globe who will compete in the 'Mount Everest of sailing,' a 39,000 nautical mile ocean race stopping in ten ports of call over the course of nine months.
PUMA Ocean Racing
The team is currently training aboard George David’s and Alex Jackson’s 100’ Maxi Rambler100, which most recently broke the Caribbean 600 course record. The new Puma Volvo Open 70 racing boat comes out of the shed in early spring. Once the new boat is launched, the crew will bring the boat to Miami for on and offshore training. In July, Read and his crew will participate in the Transatlantic Race beginning in Newport, Rhode Island and finishing in Plymouth, England. The training program will finish when the boat is brought to Alicante, Spain in October for the race start.
'The decisions we make now are the ones that will create success or failure in this race, and having this team of veterans involved early certainly increases our chances to make proper decisions,' said Read of the team assembled so far. 'Not only do we have a team that can sail a boat fast, but we have a team that understands what it takes to compete in a race like the Volvo. Great attitudes, great skills, which hopefully leads to good things down the road.'
Cumulatively, the management and sailing team for Puma Ocean Racing shares a level of success difficult to match with 22 Volvo Ocean Race entries and 20 America’s Cup editions. Collectively, the core team holds seven 24-hour mono hull speed records and has won the Around the World Race seven times.
Puma Ocean Racing Sailing Team:
Ken Read, 49 (Newport Rhode Island, United States) Skipper
Considered to be one of the world’s most accomplished racers, Read was in charge of Puma Ocean Racing and at the helm of Puma's il mostro throughout the entire Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009. The U.S.-born Read has twice helmed America’s Cup programs in 2000 and 2003 and was named 'United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year' twice and has 46 World, North American and National Championships to his credit.
Tom Addis, 41 (Sydney, Australia) Navigator
Addis, a trained meteorologist, joins Puma as a navigator after sailing with Telefonica Blue during the 2008-09 Volvo, taking two leg wins. Tom has sailed thousands of offshore miles on board Maxi Alfa Romero, winning both Sydney-Hobart and Transpac races. Addis also sailed with America’s Cup Team New Zealand in 2007.
Ryan Godfrey, 30 (Adelaide, Australia) Trimmer and Driver
Godfrey joins Puma as an under-30 after a 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race win on board Ericsson 4, where he was part of their 24 hour mono hull speed record. In addition to his Volvo experience, Ryan’s sailing resume includes numerous offshore titles, and America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Series campaigns. He works side by side with Tony Mutter and Puma's sail team.
Kelvin Harrap, 41 (Napier, New Zealand) Driver and Trimmer
With two previous Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Races in the 90’s under his belt, Harrap returns to the Volvo Ocean Race with Puma. Kelvin’s inshore experience with an Olympic and various America’s Cup campaigns will prove valuable, as he’ll transition to tactician for the Puma team during in-port racing as well as be a critical trimmer and driver offshore.
Brad Jackson: 42 (Auckland, New Zealand) Design Coordinator and Watch Captain
Named New Zealand Sailor of the Year in 2009, Jackson has sailed the Volvo Ocean Race five times and is one of only three people to have won the Around the World Race three times. Jackson was a member of Ericsson 4 which won the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 and has been part of three 24-hour mono hull speed records. In addition to his role as watch captain, Jackson serves as design coordinator for the Puma program, mixing the sailors’ input with Juan K’s creative and technical expertise.
Rome Kirby, 21 (Newport Rhode Island, United States) Trimmer and Driver
Kirby joins Puma as the youngest team member for his first Volvo Ocean Race. Having grown up sailing since the age of three, Rome honed his skills on the US and international junior sailing circuits. Since the age of 14, Kirby has logged thousands of offshore miles and gained valuable experience inshore.
Michi Mueller, 28 (Kiel, Germany) Bowman
Mueller is back to fill one of Pumas under-30 slots. Michi sailed on board il mostro during the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 and is proof that the young sailors bring a new enthusiasm to the race. During the 2008-09 Volvo he was awarded the inaugural Han Horrevoets Rookie Trophy for his outstanding contribution to the Puma team.
Tony Mutter, 42 (Auckland, New Zealand) Aerodynamics Coordinator and Watch Captain
Mutter joins Puma after sailing on board Volvo Ocean Race 08/09 winner Ericsson 4. Mutter has sailed five Volvos, winning twice. He has been part of three Volvo crews where the 24-hour mono hull record has been broken. As aerodynamics coordinator, he will work closely with North Sails to design the next generation of VO70 sails. Tony will sail on board for Puma as watch captain.
Casey Smith, 32 (Brisbane, Australia, living in Newport Rhode Island) Systems Manager and Bowman
Smith joined the crew of Puma’s il mostro for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 as one of the under 30’s. Smith was instrumental in repairing structural damages to il mostro during the last race and was honored with the seamanship award for his efforts in replacing il mostro’s rudder during the Leg seven T rans-Atlantic crossing.
Jonathan 'Jono' Swain, 43 (South Africa, living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) Driver and Trimmer
Jono Swain comes to Puma with experience in four Volvo Ocean Races, most recently as watch captain on board Telefonica Blue. Swain is considered an 'all around sailor,' mixing offshore experience with an impressive inshore resume which includes an America’s Cup campaign and Louis Vuitton Series.
Puma Ocean Racing Shore Team Management:
Kimo Worthington, 49 (Portsmouth Rhode Island, United States) General Manager
Kimo Worthington has a rare combination of management expertise onshore and leadership on the water. His professional sailing career includes competing in six America’s Cups, including a win with America 3 in 1992, and more than 80,000 miles of ocean racing. In the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race, Worthington was watch captain and sailing team manager for the winning EF Language team. In the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 edition he served as General Manager for second place Pirates of the Caribbean and in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 he was general manager for Puma Ocean Racing.
Tim Hacket, 38 (Sydney, Australia living in Middletown Rhode Island) Shore Team Manager
Tim Hacket has been building racing yachts for over 20 years. A native Australian, Tim is now based in Newport, Rhode Island. Tim’s experience includes four America’s Cup boat builds and two Volvo Ocean Race shore teams, mostly recently as part of Puma's Volvo 2008-2009 campaign.
The Volvo Ocean Race begins October 2011 in Alicante, Spain and ends in Galway, Ireland in June 2012. The eight stopovers in between include: Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya (China), Auckland, Itajaí (Brazil), Miami, Lisbon and Lorient (France). Puma continues to produce and expand their line of sailing performance gear and remains the first Sport lifestyle company to participate in a venture of this kind. Puma will also be the official supplier of all Volvo Ocean Race merchandise.
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