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PUMA Maintain 2nd Place Overall After Atlantic Scoring Gate

Posted Friday, April 17, 2009

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April 17, 2009 – PUMA passed through the leg six scoring gate in fourth place last night, to maintain their current overall second place in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. Having endured tricky light wind sailing during
the first week of the 4,900 nautical mile leg from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Boston, USA, the PUMA team are currently battling through squally doldrums conditions as they fight their way northwards towards the
equator. With 3,500 miles to go to Boston and currently placed second in this leg, PUMA have been climbing the leader board fast over the past 48 hours.

Fernando de Noronha, an Atlantic archipelago which the fleet passed to the west of during leg one and to the east late last night, is the first milestone of the leg to Boston. In keeping with the intensely close race to date, PUMA was almost within touching distance of their rivals as they passed through the gate, earning valuable points which count towards the team’s overall score in the race. With their minds set on the next milestone of the leg – the fourth and final equator crossing of the 37,000 nautical mile round the world race – the PUMA team are racing within sight of the close pack of boats around them. While wind speeds are varying wildly between five and 18 knots, and the direction swinging from north east to east south east, the ten man crew is being kept on their toes, with everyone poised to run on deck to change sails at any moment.

Skipper Ken Read (USA) commented: “Getting ahead, digging a hole, battling back – that sums up our little jaunt to the scoring gate. We will take a fourth as it could have been much worse. We nearly grabbed a third at the
gate, getting through the imaginary line at Fernando de Noronha about five boat lengths behind Delta Lloyd. In fact, they had to come up to our line and tacked on us to prevent us from getting there ahead of them – all
after over a thousand miles of sailing. AMAZING!”

“We are now parked (literally) in the doldrums. We were going 24 knots about an hour ago, now the speedo reads 2.2 knots and we are heading for South Africa, not South America. It’s a pretty fluky place, but the good news is we all got a much needed shower this morning. We also only just missed two water spouts that were forming right next to us. One fairly large one was forming about two miles to windward and the other, a small one, was literally forming about five lengths in front of us. We were ripping along at 20 knots at the time and Salty [Rob Salthouse, NZL] said, “that looks a lot like the beginning of a water spout.” We all told him to have his head examined and within seconds, the water started foaming up under the slender little cloud above it. YIKES! Keen eye, that Salty has.


We all just looked at each other and I said ‘hang on’ which we did, and nothing happened. The spout disappeared as fast as it was born.”

“Now we have to chip our way through this weather minefield. The best or the luckiest will win the battle and get to the trades first and get a sizeable jump on the rest - so there is all to play for. We’re out in the open ocean again. Boston here we come. GO SOX!”

The Volvo Ocean Race is made up of ten legs, finishing in June 2009 in St. Petersburg, Russia. By joining the race, PUMA has entered a new premium category and is the only Sportlifestyle company to participate in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. For more information about the race, team and the PUMA Sailing collections, please visit www.pumaoceanracing.com

Alongside PUMA’s entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, PUMA has launched a full range of marine clothing and apparel, from offshore sailing gear to onshore lifestyle fashion. The PUMA Sailing Performance collection was
developed and tested by the PUMA Ocean Racing team itself, and is worn by the team throughout the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. The PUMA Sailing Lifestyle collection takes inspiration from the sport.

 
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