Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing Team ready to race

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 starts tomorrow Saturday 29th October with the In-Port Race, in Alicante, Spain. After two years of preparation, the launch of a new boat and months of training on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion team is ready to get racing underway.

The first points will be awarded towards the overall standings in the race with the In-Port Race on Saturday and the Pro Am Race to follow on Sunday.

'If you look back at the last two Volvo Ocean Races, the winner of the overall race hasn't done well in the first In-Port,' said skipper Ken Read. 'Of course, anytime this group of sailors gets on a starting line they’re going to compete as hard as humanly possible. It's important for our team not to read too much into winning or losing this first In-Port Race. It’s fun, but there’s a lot of racing to go.'

Puma’s Mar Mostro and its 11-member crew will face five other boats when the starting gun fires for the Iberdrola In-Port Race at 12:00 UTC (14:00 local) on Saturday. The race course is set to challenge the teams at close maneuvers and tactics as they round the buoys. The course will be viewable from along Postiguet Beach and throughout a large area of Alicante, with the Castle of Santa Bárbara providing the backdrop. Three guests will be onboard to witness the action first hand.

In-Port racing will be streamed live online and on the live section of the Volvo Ocean Race YouTube channel. Streaming begins five minutes before the 10-minute warning signal. Also visit Volvo Ocean Race website for complete television broadcast information in local markets.

On Sunday, the Pro Am Race will begin at 10:00 UTC (12:00 local) with the first of three races. Guests onboard each race will participate in sailing Puma’s Mar Mostro around the race course.

In-Port and Pro Am races will be held at all 10 port stopovers. The first leg of this year’s Volvo Ocean Race gets underway on Saturday, November 5, and the fleet will travel 39,000 nautical miles, finishing in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012.

The Puma Ocean Racing team is once again 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, 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); Casey Smith, Systems Manager and Bowman (Brisbane, Australia); 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).

Quoting Ken Read:
On how the In-Port Race is different this time around:
'The big difference this time is that we’re sailing with the same crew. There are no additions. The last couple races, we could bring in a couple big grinders. But, you have to sail short handed. You have to sail with all of the same sails and the same equipment. There’s really only a few little things that we change. So what you’re really seeing is a boat that is set up to go offshore.'

On making any changes to the boat:
'It’s way too late for changes, and I think in a way the race has already been determined. The boats are prepared for the way they’re going to sit for the whole trip around the world. That’s one unique part about this race – once you measure in, you’re pretty much done. You can’t go make big changes to the boat.'

Puma Ocean Racing website
Volvo Ocean Race website