PUMA Ocean Racing's new racing boat christened

PUMA shows off her livery

Five months before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009, PUMA Ocean Racing had its new racing boat christened 'il mostro' by Oscar-nominated actress Salma Hayek in a waterfront ceremony at the Institute of Contemporary Art/ Boston at Fan Pier on Monday, May 12th.

The evening included the ceremonial breaking of a bottle of champagne across the Volvo Open 70’s bow by Hayek, the boat’s ‘godmother’ and short speeches by Chairman and CEO of PUMA, Jochen Zeitz, Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Bertone and PUMA Ocean Racing Skipper Ken Read.

'This is a special day for PUMA as a brand and PUMA Ocean Racing as a team,' said Zeitz. 'As part of our strategy for expansion into new categories, we are looking forward to the launch of our PUMA Sailing performance and lifestyle collections in 2008 and supporting our PUMA Ocean Racing team as they prepare to race il mostro in the Volvo Ocean Race later this year.

Il mostro was designed by the team of Botin Carkeek and built at Goetz Custom Boats in Bristol, Rhode Island in conjunction with Customline Yachts, before being launched at the Newport Shipyard in Newport, RI, in late April. PUMA Ocean Racing’s training base will be in Newport throughout the next four months, as the team prepares for the 10-month, 37,000 mile race around the globe. The new boat design is one of the new cutting-edge, second-generation Volvo Open 70s that are the world’s fastest monohulls. Its graphic details include a unique PUMA twist with il mostro resembling a virtual 3-D 'flying shoe,' inspired by PUMA’s popular style of the same name.

'We were really trying to be intimidating with this design – a fearful racing machine,' said Antonio Bertone, Chief Marketing Officer. 'That’s why it’s called il mostro – the monster. We wanted the reaction to be ‘No way, look at that thing!’ and I think we accomplished that.'

'The boat’s look is a testament to PUMA’s creativity as a brand, as well as its support for PUMA Ocean Racing to build the best Volvo Open 70 that it can,' says Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing Skipper. 'It was a lot of hard work from many people to get this boat into the water in such a short time and we couldn’t be more proud to be sailing il mostro later this year in the Volvo Ocean Race.'

Bow graphics on PUMA Ocean Racing’s new boat for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009

The Institute of Contemporary Art provided a fitting backdrop to the events with its visually-stunning design that both embraces and complements Boston Harbor. The museum lobby was transformed into a showroom for PUMA Sailing’s performance and lifestyle collection of apparel, footwear and accessories. Fan Pier’s dramatic waterfront location and the ICA’s waterfront Putnam Investment Plaza were used as the setting for the evening festivities and a PUMA Sailing fashion photoshoot by world-renowned photographer Todd Cole earlier in the day.

'The Institute of Contemporary Art was the perfect setting for this celebration, given its blend of style and modernity and proximity to Boston Harbor,' said Bertone. 'PUMA can’t wait for what the Volvo Ocean Race will bring to Boston and Fan Pier, the excitement our team will create and the success of our new sailing category at retail.'

PUMA Ocean Racing will begin off-shore training with il mostro in May with several shorter races planned for June including the Halfway Rock Race (June 6-7), NYYC Regatta (June 13-14) and Newport-Bermuda Race 2008 (June 20-22).

PUMA announced their entry into the sailing category in May 2007, when they officially entered into the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 with the PUMA Ocean Racing Team. The around the world race will be making the only U.S. stop at Fan Pier in Boston, Massachusetts, the home of PUMA North America and its global marketing headquarters. The sportlifestyle brand will carry a full line of performance and lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories beginning May 2008, available at sailing specialty stores and select PUMA Concept Stores.

For more information about the race, team and the PUMA Sailing collections, please visit www.pumaoceanracing.com