Puma reaches Lanzarote

Next training phase begins for US Volvo Ocean Race team

Saturday July 16th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

The Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion team arrived in Lanzarote, Spain, in the Canary Islands, at 11:00 GMT today, ready to begin the next phase of training for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. The 11-member crew was back on land for the first time since departing Newport, R.I., on 3 July in the Transatlantic Race 2011. While racing is still underway, the Transatlantic Race committee has declared Puma’s Mar Mostro the provisional winner.

“The shore team met us at the dock, and there was a really nice celebration from the team, marina and the locals here in Lanzarote,” said skipper Ken Read. “After a well-earned shower, the first steps are always to eat as much as you can possibly stuff down, have a few beers and relax. Then, the next couple days we’ll go back to work hard.”

With the Puma shore base set up, the Puerto Calero Marina in Lanzarote is now the team’s summer training headquarters (where Groupama was located earlier this year). The crew will use the next two months to test the boat, sails, people and systems.

“Lanzarote was selected for a few reasons,” Read said. “First of all, the guys on our team who sailed with Ericsson 4 last time trained here and had a fantastic experience – from the community to the sailing. And, it is the sailing conditions that we need now in this next phase. This amount of breeze will allow us to test things that we weren’t able to check in Newport. That’s the beauty of training in two different places – two completely different areas, different weather patterns, different water temperatures – there are all kinds of variables that are critical to preparation.”

The crew made a very successful trip across the Atlantic Ocean to get to Lanzarote. Early Monday morning, they completed the Transatlantic Race 2011 at Lizard Point, Cornwall, U.K., securing the provisional win in both IRC Class 1 and IRC Overall on corrected time. Mar Mostro and crew traveled the 2,975 nautical mile course in 7 days, 11 hours and 40 minutes.

“There was definitely a celebration,” Read said on the Transatlantic finish. “And, the result made the trip to Lanzarote much more powerful. Now that we’ve had almost four days to reflect upon the race, we’re all really pleased with not only the result, but also with the boat and the people. We talked about what we can do better and how we can improve. So, our work list is that much better because of the last four days we’ve spent together.”

The Puma crew did not stop at race finish in the U.K., but immediately turned south to the Canary Islands. In late September, they head to the race start location of Alicante, Spain. The next racing on the docket is the Volvo Ocean Race with Leg 1 beginning on 5 November.

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