Sunday, 31 May 2009

VOR: PUMA Wins Galway In-Port Race Day

First Volvo Ocean Race win for PUMA

PUMA, Green Dragon and Delta Lloyd. Image copyright Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing.

by Kate Fairclough

PUMA Ocean Racing today won the Galway In Port race day, their first ever podium win of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. Finishing third and then first in two thrilling races sailed in Galway Bay, Ireland, the PUMA Ocean Racing team excelled in the light to moderate winds to take the overall day win ahead of Spanish team Telefonica Blue.

Racing under sunny skies in front of crowds of spectator boats and tens of thousands of spectators who lined the shores of Salthill, Galway, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet put on a great show for Ireland. The exceptionally close second race, dominated by PUMA throughout, kept watching fans on the edge of their seats. PUMA took line honours and Ericsson 3 just beat Telefonica Blue, allowing PUMA to take the overall day win in a tie break.

PUMA now lies in third place overall, with just one point seperating PUMA and second placed Telefonica Blue. With three legs and one In Port race yet to be sailed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, which culminates in one months time, there are plenty of points still to be played for and the fight for second is even closer than ever.

PUMA Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read (USA) come first in the In-port Race in Galway Bay. Image copyright Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.

Skipper Ken Read (USA) commented: “It’s about time! Our first big win has been a long time coming in this race and we’re thrilled. The chemistry onboard is terrific right now. The PUMA shore crew this week put a completely bashed up boat back together in just a couple of days and this win is for those guys. Those guys were absolute studs and studettes this week.”

“They weren’t exactly what we’d call ‘our conditions’ out there, but we have been steadily improving as the race has gone on and we have never lost faith. We made some changes to our sail programme for today which also clearly worked. The first race was great, you could almost say it was better than the second in a way. We didn’t have the best start, so to get back up to third was great. To get a good race out of a mistake – that’s a big deal. Second race, if you get the best start, and you go the right way...sure enough you win. We knew we needed to get some boats in between Telefonica Blue and us, which is why we put in so many tacks. Rob Greenhalgh (GBR), our tactician made some great calls and did a really nice job out there today. Every once in a while it all comes together.”

PUMA will now spend the next week preparing for the start of leg eight, from Galway, Ireland to Marstrand, Sweden, which begins at 14:30 local (13:30 GMT/09:30 EDT) on Saturday June 6.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

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