Sunday, 31 May 2009

VOR: PUMA poised for Galway In Port Race this weekend

Andrew "Meat" Taylor. Image copyright Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing.

by Kate Fairclough

Gearing up for the sixth In Port race of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, the PUMA Ocean Racing team are back out on the water today in Galway, Ireland for the first time since their incredible leg seven finish early on Sunday morning. The PUMA shore team have been working day and night to fit a new rudder and make extensive repairs to the bow to get PUMA’s il mostro back in shape for Saturday’s In Port racing. The first of two races to be held in Galway Bay, will start at 13:00 local (12:00 GMT/08:00 EDT). Currently lying in third place overall, just 1.5 points behind Spanish entry Telefonica Blue, the PUMA team will be vying for precious points.

In Port racing takes place in seven Volvo Ocean Race stopover ports, with Galway being the penultimate In Port race venue. PUMA has finished on the podium in all but one of the five race days to date. Up to four points can be earned on In Port race day and in total, In Port racing accounts for 20% overall race points. With light south-easterly winds and sunny conditions forecast, the seven boat fleet will put on an amazing show for the thousands of Irish spectators who are expected to watch these amazing racing machines strut their stuff.

Sailing onboard il mostro for the In Port race will be PUMA’s Ocean Racing team of Ken Read, Skipper; Andrew Cape, Navigator; Justin Ferris, Trimmer; Craig Satterthwaite, Trimmer; Erle Williams, Main; Rob Greenhalgh, Tactician; Rob Salthouse, Pit; Casey Smith, Bowman; Frano Tregaskis, Mid Bow; Shannon Falcone, Trimmer/Pit, Michi Mueller, Grinder and Andrew Taylor, Grinder. Rick Deppe, PUMA’s Media Specialist will also be onboard providing a live video stream straight from the boat, which can be viewed at in real time on race day and live on TG4 in Ireland.

Skipper Ken Read (USA) commented: “If the public interest and support we saw for our arrival here on Sunday is anything to go by, this will be a big weekend in Galway. We’re expecting great weather and if we get it, the racing will be fast and furious. In Port racing is all about close-quarters racing, a hand on hand battle for points. Sailing these fast 70 foot boats over such a short course is hard work, it’s really intense. There will be some great vantage points for the public along the coastline here in Galway, so it should be a great spot for spectators, and that’s what these In Port race days are all about. Sprint racing round the buoys out there in the bay is very different to the marathon offshore legs of the Volvo Ocean Race, so it’s a big gear change for us. As a team, we have been on the podium for all but one of the In Port race days so far. We have firm goals for this weekend. Realistically, we are locked in a battle for second place with Telefonica Blue and every point counts. After a great finish to leg seven, team morale is good and we are looking forward to getting out racing again.”

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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