Second Leg of Volvo Ocean Race: into the unknown
by Kate Fairclough
Cape Town is currently the home of the PUMA Ocean Racing team, who are busy at work in preparation for Leg Two of the Volvo Ocean Race. Having finished Leg One in second place late on Sunday night, all hands are now on deck to ensure PUMA’s il mostro is ready for the 4,450 nautical mile leg to Kochi, India, an entirely new route for the race, which begins on Saturday 15th November.
While the sailing team are getting some well-deserved rest, the shore team, which has been bolstered in numbers due to the short South African stopover, are hard at work servicing and repairing the boat. With only twelve days in port in which to do this, it’s a tight schedule.
Neil Cox, PUMA Boat Captain, commented: “Our shore team, as usual, has stepped up into another gear. We had the boat out of the water, stripped down, and the rig on the ground within 12 hours of the boat arriving to port. From here the boys know that until the boat is tied back to the dock and ready to go for its shakedown sail, life is ‘all about the boat’. Even without the standard breakages, leaks and new developments, the basic service list off the top of your mind would comprise of over 150 jobs divided between the boat building, rigging, sail making and electrical departments.”
The passage from Cape Town to Kochi is widely regarded as an ‘unknown’ for the Volvo Ocean Race sailors, as no professional round-the-world yacht race has ever sailed this course before. The leg is expected to be predominantly upwind sailing and piracy is considered a serious threat in these waters. As the commerical capital of India’s south-western state of Kerala, Kochi will welcome the fleet after a tough eighteen days at sea.
Skipper Ken Read commented: “Leg One to Cape Town was such a close leg, we had some great racing and we learned a lot about the boat and how hard we can push ourselves onboard il mostro. This is only the beginning. In just a few days we’ll be saying ‘goodbye Cape Town and hello Kochi’. We’ll be ready for that and to go out there and push even harder. Everyone’s talking about India, and we’re excited to be going there.”
As planned, Jerry Kirby and Jonathan McKee will stand down for the next leg of the race, as the crew rotates. Shannon Falcone (ANT) and Robbie Naismith (NZL), a trimmer/pitman and trimmer respectively, will join the PUMA team for the leg to Kochi.
Current Overall Position:
2nd Place, with 18 points
The Volvo Ocean Race is made up of ten legs, finishing in June 2009 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Leg Two to India starts from Cape Town on Saturday 15th November.
PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race