Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 team Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg returned to the podium with a third-place finish into Lisbon, Portugal, early Friday morning to complete Leg 7. The Puma crew made the more than 3,500 nautical mile transatlantic crossing from Miami, Florida, to Lisbon in 11 days, six hours, 26 minutes and 51 seconds. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing captured their first leg win, crossing the line into Lisbon less than six minutes ahead of second-place Groupama Sailing Team, with Puma two hours back.
Puma Ocean Racing takes third in leg seven - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
'We’re very, very happy with third place. To beat two of our closest competitors, we’ll take it and run,' said skipper Ken Read. 'Physically it wasn’t that hard of a leg, but mentally it was difficult. This was a battle of a race. It seemed like every time somebody would make a good move, the fleet would invert, and someone else would be on top. There were so many lead changes, and the finish was a perfect example of how hard this leg was for the entire fleet. We’ll take this, keep racking up points and keep moving forward.'
Puma departed Miami on May 20 for the start of the shortest leg of the race to date. Traveling up the Atlantic coastline and battling the Gulf Stream, the crew encountered the outskirts of Tropical Storm Alberto in the move east. The journey took them to the northern Atlantic Ocean toward the ice gate, before beginning the press to Lisbon. Puma’s Mar Mostro crossed the line in Lisbon at 23:26:22 UTC/00:26:22 local.
'It was a tricky race, full of transitions which were very hard for lead boats to deal with,' said navigator Tom Addis. 'Nobody could every really get ahead and stay ahead, and the fleet could never relax into a rhythm. There were always opportunities for the boats behind to catch up. In a race like this, especially with a park-up so close to the finish, you’re happy with any podium position.'
With the third-place finish in the leg, Puma now moves into third place in the overall standings with 171 total points. Groupama took over the top slot with 183 points, while Team Telefónica dropped to second at 181, leaving 12 points separating the top three boats. The entire fleet finished the leg within 5 hours of each other.
Leg 7 marked the second transatlantic crossing for Puma’s Mar Mostro. The team first departed U.S. waters on July 3, 2011, with the start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 from Newport, Rhode Island, to Lizard Point, Cornwall, U.K. Their first trip across the Atlantic Ocean was successful as they notched wins in both IRC Class 1 and IRC Overall of the race.
The original Puma crew was back in tact for the first time since Leg 4. Casey Smith (Brisbane, Australia), who missed Leg 6 due to a lower back injury, returned for Leg 7.
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 powered by Berg team is 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 and 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); 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).
Results: Leg 7 (racing still underway):
Pos Team Total Finish Elapsed
1 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 30 21.23.54 UTC 11d, 4h, 23m, 53s
2 Groupama Sailing Team 25 21:29:21 11d, 4h, 29m, 20s
3 Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg 20 23:26:52 11d, 6h, 26m, 51s
4 Team Telefónica 15 01:28:27 11d, 8h, 28m, 26s
5 Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand 10 01:30:09 11d, 8h, 30m, 8s
6 Team Sanya 5 01:44:25 11d, 8h, 44m, 24s
Pos Team Overall
1 Groupama Sailing Team 183
2 Team Telefónica 180
3 Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg 171
4 Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand 162
5 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 104
6 Team Sanya 32
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
4 Leg 3, Stage 2 12 48
2 Sanya In-Port Race 5 53
2 Leg 4 25 78
2 Auckland In-Port Race 5 83
1 Leg 5 30 113
3 Itajaí In-Port Race 4 117
1 Leg 6 30 147
3 Miami In-Port Race 4 151
3 Leg 7 20 171
* Retired from leg
Puma Ocean Racing website