Off to Galway for the Finale

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The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team set out on the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 on Sunday afternoon, departing Lorient, France, for the 550 nautical mile sprint to Galway, Ireland. 

PUMA’s Mar Mostro completed the 6.5 nautical mile inshore loop in second position, 30 seconds behind Team Telefónica, before heading out on the bulk of Leg 9.

Leg 9 first takes the fleet 25 miles around the island of Belle Ile off the coast of France before sailing up the coast of Brittany, past the Fastnet Rock landmark and on to Galway. The leg will take the fleet approximately a day and a half to complete with arrival expected early Tuesday morning.

“As we got ready this morning, you start thinking, ‘Hey, I may never put these boots on again, I may never put this foul weather gear on again, I may never do this again,’” said skipper Ken Read. “This is an emotional leg for everybody. To complete a race like this is a big deal, and we’re about to accomplish something pretty incredible. This is a great team, a great group of people. Win, lose or draw, I’m really proud of what we’ve done.

“In all likelihood we’re fighting for second, third or fourth at this stage. Groupama would have to make a pretty spectacular mistake, and I don’t expect that, but if they do, we will be there to capitalize,” Read said. “It will be a tight-reaching drag race. In a leg of this length, there won’t be a lot of stretching out, maybe 2-3 miles and in essence it looks to be a rhumb line race. Straight to Fastnet Rock.”

The fleet can be followed live online at www.volvooceanrace.com through the live tracker. Photos and video from onboard and aerial shots will be updated during the leg and can be viewed via the Livestream tab or at new.livestream.com/volvooceanrace/Leg9. Three live video calls to PUMA’s Mar Mostro are scheduled during the leg and can be viewed on Livestream: one today, July 1 at 20:00 UTC; and tomorrow, July 2 at 09:30 UTC and 18:00 UTC.

PUMA is second in the overall race standings, 25 points behind the leading Groupama Sailing Team – 225 points to 220. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand is four points back in third place (196). After the completion of this final leg, one In-Port Race remains on the schedule: Saturday, July 7 in Galway.

The Volvo Ocean Race started on November 5 in Alicante. When the fleet arrives in the final port of Galway, the crews will have traveled approximately 39,270 nautical miles around the world, stopping at 10 ports along the way.
 

Sailing