While Kenny and crew have been racking up bragging rights during their Newport-based inshore training, we have been working on putting the final touches on two important projects.
Our entire team is very excited to welcome two new additions to the PUMA Ocean Racing family. The first is Laird Hamilton, legendary big-wave surfer and father of modern stand-up paddleboarding, as the honorary 12th crew ember of the PUMA Ocean Racing team. Through an unprecedented partnership, PUMA and Laird will partner on two fronts: 1) to search for the world's biggest, ride-able waves and 2) to launch a line of innovative stand-up paddleboards. Additionally, our new mascot, educator and honorary 13th crew member, Marmo, will help PUMA with an ocean preservation campaign.
Laird and PUMA’s sailing team have joined forces in search of the world's monster waves during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. Kenny and the crew (while flying off 40+ foot waves) will help track the world's biggest rogue waves which Laird will attempt to conquer. Using PUMA's weather and navigational teams, the crew help will track wave patterns while sailing through the remotest reaches of the world's oceans. As monster waves are found, Laird will fly in, prepared to surf.
“PUMA has a history of unexpected collaborations that change the playing field of the sports we engage in,” said Antonio Bertone, Chief Marketing Officer for PUMA AG. “The introduction of Laird Hamilton as the honorary 12th crew member on our PUMA Ocean Racing team represents an epic clash of prowess on the ocean. We’re bringing together the world’s most elite sailors with their counterpart in the surf and paddleboard sector to serve as a key fixture of our Volvo Ocean Race campaign.”
The key to Laird's success in riding the world's wildest waves rests on an innovative new surfboard by PUMA’s Mar Mostro designer Juan K. PUMA, Laird and Juan have collaborated to create a limited edition carbon fiber stand up paddleboard which takes inspiration from the Mar Mostro Volvo Open 70 hull.
“It’s been a life-long goal to push the boundaries and find these rogue waves at sea to ride, said Hamilton. “When PUMA and the PUMA Ocean Racing crew approached me with ideas for how we might collectively make this happen during the Volvo Ocean Race, I was thrilled. To then have the opportunity to co-design revolutionary new carbon fiber SUPs with them, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. We’re bringing the ultimate innovation to action water sports. It’s going to be a game-changer.”
In keeping with PUMA's long-term commitments to sustainability, for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race, PUMA will reach out to young sailing and sports fans to raise awareness and learn about the importance and shared responsibilities of ocean preservation. PUMA's environmental campaign will be fronted by Marmo, a specially created “sea monster” mascot who's identity was inspired by PUMA’s Mar Mostro. Marmo, PUMA's honorary 13th crew member, will be the face of PUMA's ocean conservation efforts aimed at young children. His adventures will be featured in a children's book, available this fall that teaches youngsters what they can do in their daily lives to help protect marine resources. Additionally, Marmo will be the star of a comprehensive educational campaign that includes family events in port stopovers, and online activities including practical tips, games, quizzes and more.