Volvo Ocean Race: Puma on board and en route to Cape Town

Puma’s "Mar Mostro" anchored just offshore, prior to be hoisted aboard a ship

Puma Ocean Racing successfully loaded their boat onto a container ship at Tristan da Cunha on Friday, breathing new life into their chances of rejoining the race on time.

Puma will be the sixth of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to arrive in Cape Town, after being dismasted 750nm north of the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha, and having to effect mid-ocean fuel transfer before proceeding to the remote island and await the arrival of a ship capable of hoisting the yacht on board.



Ken Read, skipper of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, had described the rescue mission as fraught with danger but the operation went off safely, team general manager Kimo Worthington reported on Friday evening.

'Loading operations on Tristan have been completed safely and we'll be leaving in the next hour or so,' Worthington said.

The lifting of Mar Mostro aboard the ship had to be carried out in deep water off the island’s coast and Read’s biggest concern had been that Atlantic swells could hamper the operation or worse still cause further damage to the boat.

Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG mast arriving in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Credit must read: Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race)

'As with everything that we have done over the past, let’s say five years, nothing comes without risk. Our friend or foe will certainly be the weather,' Read said before the ship arrived. 'It is forecast to get windier as the day goes on, but the big one is the ocean swell. How big will the swells be?

'Obviously a wave going past the boat at the wrong time creates a very good chance of breaking something if the boat suddenly violently jerks on the cranes lifting cable. We are very wary of this and are coming up with a system that will serve as a bit of a shock absorber for the lift.

'Fortunately, our Tristan friends are going to assist with two of their RIBs which can help position Puma’s Mar Mostro and help create this shock absorber. It all has to work perfectly. Fingers crossed. Puma's Mar Mostro dismasted on Monday, November 21, forcing the team to head for the impossibly isolated Tristan da Cunha and wait for assistance.

PUMA Ocean racing powered by BERG new mast is checked before leaving the warehouse. (Credit must read: Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race)

Their target is the second in-port race in Cape Town on December 10 and the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi the following day.

It will take between four and five days to get back to the the South African port, where the other five teams competing in the race are now docked. On the way, the team will work on repairing the boat to gain time.

Their best hope is to arrive in Cape Town on December 6, which would give them a fighting chance of stepping the replacement mast and taking part in the in-port race.

The mast is on its way to Cape Town from Johannesburg after being flown in from the United States. It is expected to arrive at the team's shore base by road at 0900 local time on Saturday, Puma said.'

A container ship is loaded with a boat cradle before departing for the Island of Tristan da Cunha to pick up PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG. (Photo Credit must read: Steve Edmonds/Volvo Ocean Race)


In an update Puma Ocean Racing confirmed that they are now on their way to Cape Town again after a nerve-wracking five-hour operation to get the boat loaded onto a container ship off Tristan da Cunha passed off without a hitch.

The container ship Team Bremen lifted Puma's Mar Mostro on board on Friday evening without incident, the team reported, before heading back towards South Africa, with an ETA of December 6.

'We're pulling up anchor and turning towards Cape Town,' skipper Ken Read said on the team's Facebook page. 'Not a scratch, not a ding, not a nick, and the boat looks like a spider's web with it all tied down now. It took a little less than five hours to do the whole show. My heart is still racing.'

The lifting of Mar Mostro aboard the ship had to be carried out in deep water off the sparsely inhabited island where the Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg team were holed up for days.

Puma's Mar Mostro dismasted on Monday, November 21, forcing the team to head for the impossibly isolated Tristan da Cunha and wait for assistance.

Their target is the second in-port race in Cape Town on December 10 and the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi the following day.

It will take between four and five days to get back to the the South African port, where the other five teams competing in the race are now docked. On the way, the team will work on repairing the boat to gain time.