Puma to build locally
Puma Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read, have announced that New England Boatworks Inc. has been contracted to build Puma’s new Volvo Open 70 for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.
Design for this latest generation round the world race yacht will be provided by Valencia-based naval architects, Juan Yacht Design. Juan Kouyoumdjian’s designs have a perfect record in the VOR since the inception of the Volvo Open 70 Rule, having designed the 2006 VOR winner ABN AMRO One and the 2009 winner Ericsson 4.
The project is still in the early stages, with moulds currently in build. Read, speaking to the newly formed NEB/PUMA Ocean Racing build team, confirmed that this new project will take full advantage of the years of experience assembled between the Puma build group and NEB’s boatbuilding team. After finishing second in the last Volvo Ocean Race in 2009 Read insisted that the Puma program will utilise all the hard-earned experience gained during the last race to give the team a great starting point. “We feel that Puma Ocean Racing has an advantage by keeping the construction of all the major components for this project close to our home base in Newport,” said Read. “Fortunately, NEB provides our team the perfect facility and team to build what we hope is the finest boat ever constructed for this type of race.”
NEB has proven offshore boat building experience, with projects that include the Whitbread 60 Toshiba for the 1997 Whitbread Round-the-World Race. “These boats are designed to withstand the harshest conditions, and we’re proud to have this opportunity to showcase NEB on a global level,” said NEB partners Tom Rich, Steven Casella and David MacBain.
Puma will launch and begin sea trials in the spring of 2011 out of the team's training base at the Newport Shipyard.