The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team set out on the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race on November 5, 2011, from Alicante, Spain, and early Tuesday morning they completed the journey they started. PUMA’s Mar Mostro crossed the line in Galway, Ireland – the final port of 10 stops across the globe – in third place, finishing Leg 9 from Lorient, France, at 00:55:01 UTC/01:55:01 local on July 3. The 550 nautical mile sprint took PUMA 1 day, 13 hours, 51 minutes and 1 second to complete. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand won the final leg followed by the Groupama Sailing Team in second.
With the results of Leg 9, the final standings of this year’s Volvo Ocean Race are set. Groupama takes home the overall race trophy (currently with 250 points), CAMPER finishes second (226) and PUMA captures third place (220). Team Telefónica ends in fourth place, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya fifth and sixth, respectively. One more scoring opportunity remains – the In-Port Race on Saturday, July 7 in Galway.
“This leg basically sums up our whole regatta,” said skipper Ken Read. “We’re kind of the tough luck kids. We had a nice little lead with about four hours to go. We knew we would be sailing into lighter air, and sure enough that’s what we did. As soon as we parked, everyone came zipping up from behind. It’s happened so many times in this race. Yes it’s a shame, but we give CAMPER and Groupama credit – they should be very proud and this is a time to congratulate them.”
Leg 9 departed Lorient on Sunday, July 1, with PUMA 30 seconds back from leading Telefónica after the completion of the inshore loop. The fleet spread out, and on Monday morning, PUMA’s Mar Mostro pulled ahead. The PUMA crew led the fleet around Fastnet Rock and up the southern coast of Ireland before hitting lighter air.
“At the end of the day, we’re ending up third overall. But, that’s pretty good considering we were sitting in the middle of the ocean without a mast,” Read said. “This is something we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.”
PUMA has been on the podium the last 12 scoring opportunities in this year’s race, including offshore legs and In-Port racing. Overall, PUMA has finished among the top three 16 times.
The Volvo Ocean Race started on November 5 in Alicante. The crews will have traveled 39,270 nautical miles around the world, stopping in 10 countries along the way.