Kenny Joined The Club

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Helmet, doo rag, goggles...check. Leather chaps…not just yet. Tattoo? Yes, albeit temporary. 

PUMA’s Mar Mostro skipper Ken Read celebrated his birthday on June 24, and the gag gifts rang of a motorcycle theme. All were accessories to go with his new purchase – a Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special.

“I tried to sneak it in the container,” Read said as he prepared to depart Newport, R.I., on the Transatlantic Race 2011. The crew leaves their Newport Shipyard base on Sunday and relocates their training base for the summer.

“When I first got married, I purchased a motorcycle, and my wife said it’s either her or the bike. So, I chose her and returned the bike,” Read said. “Now, 22 years later, she’s clearly not that concerned any more and she green-lighted the purchase of the bike.

“I’ve wanted to get back on a motorcycle for a long time,” Read continued. “But the final straw came during the last Volvo Ocean Race, in middle of the Southern Ocean, when I was sitting down in the navigation station. Erle Williams and I were talking about getting around the world in once piece and surviving the race. He talked about the Harley he owns and showed me a photo on his phone. For the next week, Erle was talking about his Harley. So, we came to the conclusion that if we make it around the world in one piece, I would buy one too. It’s taken almost two years since then, but he’s happy that I finally joined the club.”

Read will have a couple opportunities to step back on his bike over the summer, but come October the Volvo Ocean Race begins.