PUMA’s Mar Mostro powered to the front of the fleet to lead the departure from Itajai, Brazil, for the start of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG crew completed the in-port loop in 42 minutes, 32 seconds, heading out for the offshore portion of the leg about a half mile ahead of Team Telefónica. Next stop: Miami, Florida, USA.
"Right now, we feel good about ourselves, and that says something. We're as confident as you can be sailing in a fleet like this against such great sailors and great boats,” said skipper Ken Read. "I don't want to jinx the fleet right now, but it looks like we could have really nice sailing. This is potentially the first leg of this race that anybody can say that. We might have some downwind sailing out of here, it looks like we might have some nice trade wind sailing, maybe some consistent wave patterns. I've probably just completely ruined it. But, I think everybody is really psyched to do some nice sailing.”
Leg 6 will take the fleet 4,800 nautical miles from Itajaí to Miami – the lone U.S. stop in this year’s race – and span approximately 14 days. The fleet will arrive into the Downtown Miami Volvo Ocean Race Village at Bicentennial Park, which officially opens on May 6.
“We’re starting just behind a front that pushed through overnight, so we’ve got some good downwind sailing over the first day or so,” said navigator Tom Addis. “It won’t last that long though, and after a day of nice downwind, we’ll see a couple days of lighter stuff. We’ll battle through to the trade winds, and once there we should have some nice, solid reaching almost all the way to the Bahamas.”
PUMA’s Mar Mostro, built and launched in Newport, Rhode Island, departed U.S. waters on July 3, 2011, with the start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 from Newport to Lizard Point, Cornwall, U.K. The crew made a training run to Miami and visited the city on May 13, 2011.
PUMA holds on in fourth in the overall standings with 117 points after finishing third in Saturday’s In-Port Race. Telefónica maintains the top slot with 149 points, while Groupama closed the gap, sitting in second at 133. CAMPER is in third at 124.
Shannon Falcone (Falmouth Harbor, Antigua) is on board for this leg, taking the place of Casey Smith (Brisbane, Australia) who injured his back during Leg 5. Kelvin Harrap (Napier, New Zealand) returns to the crew after missing Leg 5 due to injury.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race