PUMA’s Mar Mostro, the “Monster of the Sea,” has splashed into the waters of Newport, Rhode Island, USA, and training is underway for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 under the skilled hand of PUMA Ocean Racing Skipper Ken Read. With the completion of the Volvo Open 70 and a full crew in place, preparations will continue for PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion throughout the summer.
Designed by Juan Yacht Design of Valencia, Spain, and constructed at New England Boatworks, Inc., in Portsmouth, R.I., the third generation Volvo Open 70 monohull was uniquely created to sail around the world and face extreme conditions. With a distinct chine that runs from bow to stern, PUMA’s Mar Mostro design was tested thoroughly by Juan Kouyoumdjian’s team based on input by the veteran PUMA Sailing Team. The yacht weighs 14 metric tons, with a 4.5 meter draft and 5.5 meter beam, and it can reach speeds of more than 40 knots during the race.
“PUMA’s Mar Mostro has its own personality. It’s the story of a boat that sailed around the world, and somehow the boat and the oceans became one,” said Antonio Bertone, PUMA Chief Marketing Officer. “With sustainability as a focus for PUMA, we looked at how to bring respect for the waters and sea life into a central design theme. We also wanted the scheme to show appreciation for the innovative design Juan K created. It’s nice that we’ve done this before. Now we’ve evolved, creating a boat that’s visually and physically powerful, and we’re ready to go out there.”
“I'm very happy with the work done so far,” said Kouyoumdjian. “The boat is very well-built, and after the first weeks of sailing, the overall feeling has been very positive. Congratulations to PUMA and the construction team. We will now support the team through the development phase and be ready for the race.”
Juan Yacht Design is also credited with designing previous Volvo Ocean Race winners, ABN-AMRO One andEricsson 4.
Giant octopus tentacles grip hold of PUMA’s Mar Mostro in a dynamic and energetic graphic scheme that wraps around the boat and sails. Conceived by Bertone and PUMA’s London-based brand design team, GBH, the boat was hand-painted by artist Dean Loucks of Elkhart, Indiana. The vibrant red tentacles encircle the boat, merging into the PUMA formstrip on the port and starboard sides, and popping against a black backdrop of stingray-influenced scales. The design continues up the black aramid sails. The headsails and mainsail feature the new PUMA “Aqua Cat,” a liquid explosion of the iconic PUMA cat emerging from the waves. On the hull, the PUMA “Cavitation Cat” forms out of the bubbles spun from the red painted BERG propellers. A bright orange propeller, measuring 5 square meters, is painted in a spinning pattern and serves as the safety mark underneath. Additionally, surprise aqua details ranging from an octopus with the caption “All Hands on Deck” to a skull and crossbones pop up in hidden spots across the boat in a hugely detailed and unconventional scheme.
“We wanted to create a livery that represents the non-stop battle between the team and the sea,” said Mark Bonner, Creative Director at GBH. “We knew it should really mean business. We had a lot of fun thinking about the conventions of sail and boat graphics and subverting them in a very PUMA way. Every element is made virtually from either the monster or the water itself, and our aim was to create an interplay that really comes alive in photography when the boat’s design connects with the real waterline of the sea, especially at high speed.”
“Mar Mostro is in the water and we’re eager to let her loose,” said Read. “We worked with the best of the best to develop this boat – from the genius of Juan K to the dedicated team at Customline Yachts and New England Boatworks. As I have said before, these races are won or lost before the start. Our entire design and build team has done their job amazingly well, now it's up to the sailors to keep the momentum going.”
The PUMA Ocean Racing crew has commenced off-shore training on the new Volvo 70 using Newport, R.I., as a base. Participation in the New York Yacht Club’s 157th Annual Regatta (June 10-12) in Newport, R.I., is on the schedule before the team completes in the Transatlantic Race 2011 in July. Following arrival in Europe, their training base will be relocated to Lanzarote, Spain, in the Canary Islands.