The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team closed out the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 on a high note, winning the Discover Ireland In-Port Race on Saturday, July 7, in Galway, Ireland. PUMA crossed the line with a time of 53 minutes, 12 seconds, 1:19 ahead of second-place CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand. With the win, PUMA also captures the overall In-Port Race Series.
“We wanted to go out with a bang,” said skipper Ken Read. “We took a little risk off the starting line and it paid off for us. It was such a short first run that starboard tack was going to have a huge advantage if everything was equal.
“Winning anything is fun, whether it's an In-Port Race or a game of checkers. And, it's fun to compete against the best sailors in the world,” Read said. “We definitely waited pretty long for an In-Port win, but consistency paid off. We’re really pleased, and I’m happy for the whole program – it’s a great way to finish.”
PUMA’s Mar Mostro docked off in Galway with the crew wearing the official PUMA Irish Rugby Football Union jerseys. Off the start, the fleet split and PUMA headed down the left side of the first run. A small left-hand shift combined with starboard tack advantage and slightly better pressure gave PUMA the lead at the first mark, a position they never relinquished on the 8.2 nautical mile course. CAMPER and the Groupama Sailing Team swapped places behind Mar Mostro multiple times throughout the race, while PUMA gradually expanded the lead. Team Telefónica ended in third place, passing Groupama near the finish.
The win marked PUMA’s first trip to the top of the podium for an In-Port Race in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. PUMA finished on the podium in nine of the 10 In-Port Races, collecting 45 total points to win the overall In-Port Race Series. The crew was tied with CAMPER going into today’s final race and won the series by one point.
“It’s a pretty ecstatic feeling, and a huge sense of accomplishment,” said media crew member Amory Ross. “It was a long trip, but it’s already starting to sink in and we’re getting a little sentimental. This was a great note to end on today.”
PUMA finished third overall in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 and closes out the race with 226 points. Groupama took home the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 trophy with 253 points, and CAMPER was second at 231. The PUMA crew notched two leg wins – Leg 5 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil; and Leg 6 from Itajaí to Miami, Florida, USA – and they were on the podium after seven of nine legs.
PUMA set out on the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race on November 5, 2011, from Alicante, Spain. Early Tuesday morning, July 3, they completed the journey they started when PUMA’s Mar Mostro crossed the line in Galway, Ireland – the final port of 10 stops across the globe. The crew traveled approximately 39,270 nautical miles.