The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG crew charged to the front of the fleet when they departed Itajai, Brazil, and held on to the lead through the finish of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. PUMA’s Mar Mostro crossed the line in Miami, Fla., USA at 14:14:00 local/18:14:00 UTC on Wednesday, May 9, to win a second consecutive leg in front of a hometown crowd. The team completed Leg 6 in 17 days, 1 hour, 13 minutes and 59 seconds, edging out second-place CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.
"Hello Miami! This is unbelievable," said skipper Ken Read, from Newport, Rhode Island, USA, upon crossing the finish line. "It's great to be back in the U.S. And, we've actually been to Miami before on this boat, so this marks our complete circumnavigation of the globe.
"This was about a stressful a leg as it can get," Read continued. "The guys on CAMPER sailed really well and it was touch-and-go for a lot of the time. But, I couldn't be more proud of our team – just an incredibly good job."
As the U.S. entry in this year’s race, PUMA made an exciting entrance into Miami with three Americans onboard – Read, trimmer Rome Kirby (Newport, R.I.) and media crew member Amory Ross (Newport, R.I.). The Miami arrival marked a complete lap around the planet for PUMA’s Mar Mostro as the crew made a training run from their home port of Newport to Miami in May 2011.
"It's fantastic - I'm psyched to be home," said Kirby. "The leg was nice sailing for a lot of it, but also a bit frustrating. We had some pretty light air sailing that was tough. But, coming into the U.S. in first place – you can't beat it."
PUMA departed Itajai on April 22 and led the fleet on the start of the leg. They were the first team to reach the equator, crossing it on April 30 for the fourth and final time this race. With CAMPER within sight several days throughout the leg, PUMA held off their charge to finish just over an hour ahead for the 4,800 nautical mile leg.
With the win, PUMA added 30 points to total 147 overall in this year’s race. Team Telefónica will maintain the overall lead upon completion of the leg.
PUMA’s Mar Mostro also captured the IWC Schaffhausen Speed Record Challenge trophy for Leg 6. On May 3, the crew posted a 511 nautical mile run to win the award for the third time in the race, having also won for Leg 3 and 4.