Saturday, 23 May 2009

VOR: PUMA Breaks Rudder Mid-Way Across Atlantic Ocean

PUMA Ocean Racing's leward rudder breaks after they caught a nasty puff of wind, in the North Atlantic, on leg 7 from Boston to Galway. Image copyright Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Kate Fairclough

Just after 1800 GMT today, Thursday May 21st, PUMA broke one of their two rudders whilst racing hard across the Atlantic Ocean. Mid-way through leg seven of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 from Boston, USA to Galway, Ireland, the PUMA Ocean Racing team suffered the breakage whilst blasting downwind at speeds of up to 35 knots in heavy seas. The team, who are safe and in good spirits, have rigged up their emergency rudder system and intend to carry on racing to Ireland.

Given that the PUMA Ocean Racing team had to physically stop, take down the sails, fix the rudder and then begin sailing again, they now lie only 26 miles behind Delta Lloyd, currently in first place. After an incredible day, which saw PUMA move up the leaderboard several places from fifth to first place before the incident, the team currently have 1,097 miles to go and are expected to reach Galway, Ireland this Sunday.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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