The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG crew outdueled the Groupama Sailing Team to finish second in the In-Port Race on Saturday, March 17, in Auckland, New Zealand. PUMA crossed the line 0:54 seconds behind race winner CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and picked up five points to total 83 in the overall standings.
“We knew it was going to be a fun day, and it proved to be a great boat race,” said skipper Ken Read. “It was racing in tight quarters – exactly what we expected – and we’re comfortable in those situations. The race was tight and physical, lots of tacks, lots of jibes. We had a good start, then CAMPER got the first shift and that’s all they needed today – congrats to them, they sailed well.”
Sailing along the Auckland shoreline to the first mark, PUMA rounded in third, less than a minute behind leading CAMPER. PUMA and Groupama traded places twice as they sailed through the second mark. Neck-in-neck with Groupama to the third buoy, PUMA rolled past and moved into second around the fourth and final mark. CAMPER led from start to finish, and Groupama finished third.
“It’s always been a goal of ours to be consistent and not make big errors, so that’s going to continue to be our focus as we set out on this next leg into the Southern Ocean,” Read said. “We’re looking at quite a forecast right now, and it’s going to be full-on for the first few days. So, we’re going to treat it with a lot of respect.”
On Sunday, the fleet begins the 6,705 nautical mile journey from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, for Leg 5. The leg takes the fleet through the formidable Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn. Race Start is at 14:00 local/01:00 UTC. Racing will be streamed live online at www.volvooceanrace.com and on the live section of the Volvo Ocean Race YouTube channel: youtube.com/volvooceanracevideos. Streaming begins five minutes before the 10-minute warning signal. Also visit www.volvooceanrace.com for complete television broadcast information in local markets.
Thomas Johanson (Espoo, Finland) will sail in place of helmsman Kelvin Harrap (Napier, New Zealand) onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro for the leg from Auckland to Itajaí. Harrap will take a break due to carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms as well as bursitis in his elbow.