PUMA OCEAN RACING POWERED BY BERG THIRD IN LEG 9, THIRD OVERALL IN VOLVO OCEAN RACE

The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team set out on the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race on November 5, 2011, from Alicante, Spain, and early Tuesday morning they completed the journey they started. PUMA’s Mar Mostro crossed the line in Galway, Ireland – the final port of 10 stops across the globe – in third place, finishing Leg 9 from Lorient, France, at 00:55:01 UTC/01:55:01 local on July 3. The 550 nautical mile sprint took PUMA 1 day, 13 hours, 51 minutes and 1 second to complete. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand won the final leg followed by the Groupama Sailing Team in second. With the results of Leg 9, the final standings of this year’s Volvo Ocean Race are set. Groupama takes home the overall race trophy (currently with 250 points), CAMPER finishes second (226) and PUMA captures third place (220). Team Telefónica ends in fourth place, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya fifth and sixth, respectively. One more scoring opportunity remains – the In-Port Race on Saturday, July 7 in Galway. “This leg basically sums up our whole regatta,” said skipper Ken Read. “We’re kind of the tough luck kids. We had a nice little lead with about four hours to go. We knew we would be sailing into lighter air, and sure enough that’s what we did. As soon as we parked, everyone came zipping up from behind. It’s happened so many times in this race. Yes it’s a shame, but we give CAMPER and Groupama credit – they should be very proud and this is a time to congratulate them.” Leg 9 departed Lorient on Sunday, July 1, with PUMA 30 seconds back from leading Telefónica after the completion of the inshore loop. The fleet spread out, and on Monday morning, PUMA’s Mar Mostro pulled ahead. The PUMA crew led the fleet around Fastnet Rock and up the southern coast of Ireland before hitting lighter air. “At the end of the day, we’re ending up third overall. But, that’s pretty good considering we were sitting in the middle of the ocean without a mast,” Read said. “This is something we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.” PUMA has been on the podium the last 12 scoring opportunities in this year’s race, including offshore legs and In-Port racing. Overall, PUMA has finished among the top three 16 times. The Volvo Ocean Race started on November 5 in Alicante. The crews have now traveled 39,270 nautical miles around the world, stopping in 10 countries along the way. The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team is under the leadership of Read (Newport, Rhode Island, United States). Collectively, the crew has won the Around the World Race six times. The core includes: Tom Addis, Navigator (Sydney, Australia); Ryan Godfrey, Pitman (Adelaide, Australia); Kelvin Harrap, Helmsman & Inshore Tactician (Napier, New Zealand); Brad Jackson, Design Coordinator & Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand); Rome Kirby, Trimmer & Driver (Newport, Rhode Island, USA); Michael “Michi” Müller, Bowman (Kiel, Germany); Tony Mutter, Aerodynamics Coordinator & Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand); Casey Smith, Bowman (Brisbane, Australia); Jonathan “Jono” Swain, Helmsman & Trimmer (Durban, South Africa); Amory Ross, Media Crew Member (Newport, Rhode Island, USA); Kimo Worthington, General Manager (Portsmouth, Rhode Island, United States); and Tim Hacket, Shore Team Manager (Sydney, Australia). QUOTES Navigator Tom Addis on Leg 9: “We were in a good position, but just got light today and the guys came up with better pressure. From there, any one of the four boats could have won.” Skipper Ken Read on Groupama’s overall race win: “They’re fast, they’re smart and that’s a pretty deadly combination. They started off this race pretty far behind, especially in light air. And they made up ground, got better in their weaker areas. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know their team and I really like them as both people and competitors. Congratulations to them.” IMAGES For editorial use only. Photo credit: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race. For high-res images, visit images.volvooceanrace.com. RESULTS Leg 9 POS TEAM TOTAL FINISH UTC ELAPSED 1 CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 30 00:42:13 1d, 13h, 40m, 13s 2 Groupama Sailing Team 25 00:49:11 1d, 13h, 47m, 11s 3 PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 20 00:55:01 1d, 13h, 53m, 01s 4 Team Telefónica 15 00:59:33 1d, 13h, 57m, 33s 5 Team Sanya 10 1d, 16h, 12m, 27s 6 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 5 1d, 16h, 21m, 29s Overall Standings: POS TEAM OVERALL 1 Groupama Sailing Team 250 2 CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 226 3 PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 220 4 Team Telefónica 209 5 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 129 6 Team Sanya 50

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PUMA OCEAN RACING POWERED BY BERG SECOND OVERALL WITH THIRD-PLACE FINISH IN LEG 8 IN THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE

With a third-place finish in Leg 8, the PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team improved to second in the overall standings of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. PUMA crossed the line at 12:43:04 UTC/14:43:04 local in Lorient, France, on Friday to finish the penultimate leg from Lisbon, Portugal, in 5 days, 43 minutes and 4 seconds. The Groupama Sailing Team won the leg into their home port with CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand in second.

“It’s bittersweet,” said skipper Ken Read. “We didn’t sail our best leg and we made a few mistakes at the wrong time in this race. We did keep it close, like we always do, and getting on the podium is always a great result. We also gained one place in the standings. But we may have seen the opportunity to win this race start to slip away. Groupama sailed fast and smart, and that’s a deadly combination – they deserve a lot of credit and have continued to get better each leg.”

The 1,900 nautical mile leg from Lisbon to Lorient first took the fleet northwest into the Atlantic Ocean. PUMA traveled through the waypoint and around the archipelago of the Azores where they were greeted in the early morning hours by dedicated fans. After making the turn, the downwind stretch saw wet, windy conditions and record 24-hour distance marks for this year’s race. The fleet remained in a tight race to the finish, and PUMA crossed the line only 13 minutes back from CAMPER.

“It wasn’t a very tactical leg – it was basically a one tack, one gybe race in 2,000 miles – and just a drag race. But it was tough, and our wheels just weren’t quite big enough,” said navigator Tom Addis. “We were always struggling with speed, but we kept in there with consistency and not breaking down. We’re happy with third.”

With the third-place finish, PUMA collected 20 points and moved ahead of Team Telefónica into second place in the overall race standings. The Groupama Sailing Team holds the top spot with 219 points. Two In-Port Races and one leg remain in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. The boats return to racing with the Pro-Am Race in Lorient on June 29, the In-Port Race on June 30 and the start of the final leg to Galway, Ireland, on July 1.

The Volvo Ocean Race started on November 5 in Alicante, and the fleet is traveling 39,000 nautical miles through 10 ports, finishing in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012.

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It’s Game Time in the Volvo Ocean Race

It’s game time. And we started about as well as we could have.

Lisbon, Portugal, was a fantastic stopover. Lots and lots of fans. An amazing and historic city that gave the Read family a lot to do outside of sailing. All in all it was about as much rest as I have had since this adventure began. I feel pretty good starting this leg, which is a pretty rare feeling at this time in this young boy’s life.

And I guess it showed these past couple days. A come-from-behind, second-place finish in the In-Port Race was a big one for us. We nipped CAMPER and Abu Dhabi at the finish. Telefónica managed to do their typical “first or last” routine in the In-Port Races – this time finishing last which resulted in some needed points for the rest of us. Only drawback for us, Groupama won the race and are sailing well. We lost one point to them in the standings, and we need to start reeling them in if we are to have a chance.

We then nailed a somewhat risky port tack Leg Start and led the fleet out the river back into the Atlantic Ocean. Doesn’t mean much in the big picture other than it was a few moments of glory for our fans, I would imagine. It was a bit scary on that start line, though. Volvo race officials seem to be putting the start lines in riskier positions every start. This one was dicey for sure. A downwind start. You could barely cross the line on starboard, and if you started on port there was a chance you would run aground soon after the start. But, we got a sharp right-hand shift about 2 minutes before the start and bailed out on our starboard tack lineup only to cross the fleet on port tack by about a boat length. If we hadn’t crossed we would still probably be there trying to pull the boats apart. I guess it is the time in the race for us to take a chance or two. We really have nothing to lose.

And, it is all about the points now. Two legs to go. Two In-Ports to go. A maximum of 70 points up for grabs. We are close but will still need Telefónica and Groupama to make a few mistakes. That is the price you pay for comebacks. The people ahead need to help.

We are heading to another place where sailing is king: Lorient, France. Actually the home and training base for Groupama. Will they have an advantage? Maybe. But if Miami was any example, Franck Cammas might have a lot on in Lorient. I was pretty overwhelmed in Miami with all of the extracurricular activities that had to be done. Of course you could always say no, but that isn’t what this is all about. When you can speak for the race and your sport and your sponsors you simply do it. We can all sleep next year. And knowing how much France, and especially the area we are going to, is into sailing, Franck might have a bit on!

It’s off to the Azores prior to heading to Lorient. Just making this entire trip a bit longer, if it is possible. It would have been too easy just to go directly from Lisbon to Lorient. So, lets send the fleet 2,000 miles out around a remote island and then back into a fairly large developing storm that should beat us up for the last couple days of this six-day leg. Yup, sounds pretty standard.  Knock on wood the old black boat is still up to it. And it’s crew for that matter.

- Kenny

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“Almost Time for the Big Sail” – Ken Read in the Volvo Ocean Race

We’re all in agreement: there’s something strange about sailing west. The last time we saw the sun setting in front of us was during the first week of Leg 1 while leaving the Med. After seven months of going south, east, north, south again, east again, and north again (everywhere but west), heading away from the mark towards the Azores is toying with the psyche a bit!

Fortunately, at some point today we turn north towards France, albeit straight into a nasty low-pressure storm that seems to build with each forecast (nothing unfamiliar about that, either…). But for now, it’s back to playing keep-up with Telefónica and Groupama still just three miles off the bow. We have tried like hell to hang on in reaching conditions that we’ve always struggled with, because when the winds ease up like they’re supposed to, it will be our time to make up ground on the two boats that we need to beat.

Onboard life has drastically improved during the last few hours; the difference between 13 knots of wind and 19 is substantial. Our boat has been re-stacked, bailed, and powered up, and in general it’s much calmer, drier, and quieter. Even with some proper time off in Lisbon, the wear and tear of this race is catching up with a lot of us, and it is a pleasant change for sure – to get some rest before the difficult and taxing downwind ride home to Lorient.

As the aptly-named “Azores High” settles in we’ll have some light air tacking to do in order to get us around the islands – never fun – but then it’s “breeze on” again and we’re off on port tack towards the finish. A couple of 500-mile days and one jibe later, and we should be there in time for a proper weekend in France! – Amory

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