Farewell Cape Town

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The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team has bid farewell to Cape Town, South Africa, and is on their way on Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. PUMA’s Mar Mostro was the third boat around the buoys before heading off to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the third port of the race.

“I think we’re a little tired, but anxious to get back out there,” said skipper Ken Read. “We know where we were on the last leg was not a fluke, so now we have to make up the points. Our team motto is we want to be the first team to ever win this race without finishing every leg. Nobody has ever won the Whitebread or the Volvo doing that.”

The team is fourth in the overall standings after finishing third in Saturday’s In-Port Race. PUMA is now offshore racing again for the first time since PUMA’s Mar Mostro suffered a broken mast on November 21 during the first leg of the race, sailing from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town.

“We’re looking at 14-16 days on this first stage of Leg 2,” said navigator Tom Addis, evaluating the conditions ahead. “It will be pretty typical for the first 12 hours – upwind out of here, and it doesn’t look like we have to go too far south. A lot of races you’re going directly south out of Cape Town, but we’ll likely be able to stay pretty close to land and save some distance due to a little low that’s just south of the country. We’ll be into some downwind sailing much sooner than normal. But, it won’t last that long – only a day or so. We’ll find some breeze at times. We have to sort of battle our way to the trade wind reach.”

The Leg 2 route has been redrawn because of the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean, with the teams due to make for an undisclosed safe haven port and then be transported by heavy lift ship to a position off the Sharjah coastline in the northern Emirates. From there they will sprint in to Abu Dhabi for the finish, expected shortly after the first of the year.