Transatlantic Race 2011 is a 2,975 nautical mile journey which takes competitors from Newport, R.I. to Lizard, England.
For Transatlantic Race competitor PUMA, its moving day at the Newport Shipyard. The Puma Ocean Racing team is packing up and relocating – destination: Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
On Sunday, Puma’s Mar Mostro and crew departed on Transatlantic Race 2011. Upon crossing the finish line, it’s a quick turn south for the PUMA crew as they head for their new training base in Lanazrote.
'It’s a bittersweet moment,' said Skipper Ken Read, who hails from Newport. 'The fact is that our program is moving on to the next stage, and it’s really exciting. But at the same time, I’m leaving my beautiful home for the next year. So, it’s emotional.'
The Transatlantic Race will be the first big test. It will add not only time on the water and the chance to get a better feel for the boat and sails, but also the opportunity to gain racing experience as a crew.
Six boats departed alongside PUMA’s Mar Mostro in IRC Class one in the final start of the race, including the crew’s training yacht, Rambler 100 (George David); ICAP Leopard (Clarke Murphy); Beau Geste (Karl Kwok); Sojana (Peter Harrison); and Vanquish (USMMA – All American Offshore Team). The journey across the Atlantic Ocean will take approximately eight days for the PUMA team.
'There’s no downside to doing this race,' Read said. 'No matter what the weather is, what the conditions are, everything we do over the next couple weeks is good learning for the future. The IRC handicap results at the finish are irrelevant for us. This is all about learning about the boat and about the people during this race – it’s really that simple.'
After 17 months building and training in Newport, the summer headquarters for the PUMA team becomes the Puerto Calero Marina in Lanzarote by mid July. From there, the crew will head to the race start location of Alicante, Spain, in late September. The next time Puma’s Mar Mostro docks in the U.S. will be during the Miami stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in May 2012.
Transatlantic Race website
PUMA Ocean Racing website