VOR update Team Puma
In one of the closest ever conclusions to a Volvo Ocean Race leg, four boats including PUMA crossed the finish line in Cochin, India, within a matter of minutes this afternoon. Finishing the second leg at 17.52 local time (12.22 GMT) as the sun was setting, our PUMA team arrived in Cochin in fifth place, just 22 minutes behind Spanish entry Telefonica Black. The Dutch team Delta Lloyd followed, crossing the line just seven minutes after PUMA, with Green Dragon shortly behind. PUMA currently stands in third place overall in the Volvo Ocean Race.
After an epic leg into the unknown, the PUMA Ocean Racing team was delighted to set foot on dry land and be welcomed by the Indian crowd. The 4,450 nautical mile leg from Cape Town to India was full of drama for Skipper Ken Read and the crew aboard il mostro. Just days after a spectacular start to the leg, the team was dogged by structural damage which was repaired by the crew as they continued sailing at a slower pace. Having been forced to slow, PUMA lost valuable places as they navigated their way towards some tricky weather, and the frustratingly light winds of the doldrums. As the group of four boats, Telefonica Black, PUMA, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon battled their way northwards from the tip of India towards Cochin, it was tight, but PUMA held their ground to come second in this mini-race, finishing in fifth place.
PUMA Skipper Kenny said: "It's wonderful to be here in India. We had some serious damage to the boat during this leg, and if it wasn't for the fantastic team onboard we probably would have had to pull in some place and repair it. I give huge credit to our team for fixing what looked like a very grim situation. It cost us miles, but we got ourselves back into the game. We're a little disappointed in our finish this leg, but at the same time we didn't have to withdraw from the leg or take any other drastic measures. The boat will be fine. We're not licking our wounds by any means, we're not trying to feel sorry for ourselves, we're doing this to win this race. The boat will be back to full strength for the next leg. We can't wait have a short break, relax and start exploring India. It's been a long hard trip."
"The give and take that has occurred during this leg is like no other race I have ever been a part of. This is the hardest sailing race I can ever remember being in. It was so diverse and so bizarre. Today was a good example - this afternoon Telefonica Black was way out on the horizon behind us, we could barely see them. Then an hour before the finish we realize they're seven miles ahead. It was really remarkable. We are now very used to having boats right next to us over an entire leg. We literally just crossed Delta Lloyd by about 100 meters about 20 miles prior to the finish. It was incredibly close racing - and this is after over 4000 miles! Congratulations to the podium finishers for the leg. It will be the first time il mostro isn't on the podium. We can't make that a trend though."
The short stop in Cochin will be fraught with activity in getting the boat ready for the start of leg three, to Singapore which begins on 13th December.
IMAGE CREDIT:Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing
Update from Cochin:
Compliments to the PUMA Ocean Racing shore team for a job well done. The guys worked to the extreme to get Il Mostro repaired and ready for action. The long hours and high temperatures were hard on the team, but all repairs were finished in time. The boat went back in the water yesterday and is out for a test sail today.
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