PUMA Closes The Gap Before Leg 7

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PUMA’s Mar Mostro stretched its nose across the line to capture third place and return to the podium at the PORTMIAMI In-Port Race on Saturday in Miami, Fla., USA. The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG crew pushed past CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand with meters left on the race course, finishing nine seconds ahead. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing took first, with the Groupama Sailing Team a close second.

“It was a lousy start, we got trapped down the line, but the boys did a nice job of battling back,” said skipper Ken Read. “We had really good sail changes – we used every sail on the boat except the J4 today. As always, nobody quit on this boat and got us back in a podium spot.

“At the end it was close, and that’s all we know how to do, keep it close. That’s part of the DNA of this team to keep grinding it out,” Read continued. “When this race began, every single skipper said this was going to be really close. It’s no surprise to me – this is a fleet of six well-prepared, well-sailed boats.”

PUMA’s Mar Mostro was squeezed at the start by Team Sanya, ended up at the back of the fleet, and played catch-up the first three legs of the race. After mark No. 4, PUMA moved ahead of CAMPER. Going into the sixth mark, PUMA slid past Sanya while Team Telefónica struggled to regain momentum and touched the mark. Telefónica’s penalty turn propelled PUMA into the third position. The course was shortened, and following a final leg battle with CAMPER, PUMA edged past to capture the final podium spot in front of a welcoming hometown crowd.

“I’m proud of South Florida today,” Read said. “They put on a really nice show out on the water today, showing support, showing their love for sailing.”

PUMA added four points to their total and remains in fourth place overall with 151 points, sitting one point behind CAMPER on the leaderboard. Only 14 points separate the top four boats in the fleet.

Casey Smith (Brisbane, Australia) rejoined the team this week in Miami. He returned to his position on the bow for today’s PORTMIAMI In-Port Race and will be onboard for the start of the next leg. 


Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race