Monday, 29 June 2009

VOR: PUMA VOLVO OCEAN RACE WRAP QFB: received 27.06.09 0947 GMT

by Kenny Read (skipper)


I really don't know what to say other than – ‘It's over’. This unbelievable adventure of a lifetime is over. I can't believe it. To be honest, I am a bit dazed right now.

No work list for the boat. No crew briefing planned. No sail upgrade list. I am guessing the primary goal of the next few days is to get plenty of the local Vodka supply down our gullets in celebration of this extraordinary feat.

We just sailed around the world. I have never uttered or written that sentence before. I never thought it would be something that was on my personal agenda. In fact, I remember personally promising a few times that I would never do this race.

We did it, along with an amazing team that I am indebted to for the rest of my life. A group of individuals that came together as a sailing team and shore team, and most importantly - a cohesive team. And not a moment too soon, I might add.
We finished very strongly even if we were nipped by a quick Telefónica Black this morning for the final leg win. Good for them, and good for us by continuing our streak of first and seconds to six straight. Pretty nice way to finish up and nice proof that we had something good with our team and our beautiful boat.

"il mostro” took us around the world in safely, quickly and in style. There has never been a boat like it and likely never will. It showed off the true PUMA colours. Fun, exciting and sport changing. I am indebted to PUMA for giving us this chance and I hope all at PUMA has enjoyed the ride right along with us. They took a chance with us and with the sport of sailing. And hopefully we have been good ambassadors for them in our sport and in the sporting world in general. As Jochen Zeitz says, "the Volvo is the Rock and Roll of sailing". And clearly, PUMA is into Rock and Roll.

We are of course hugely indebted to all of our teams, friends, fans and relatives. You can now go back to trying to have a good night’s sleep without waking every three hours for the next sched. I am sure that we were not the easiest team to follow as we certainly had our ups and downs, but for sure, we knew how to keep it interesting! Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

To Volvo and all the folks that keep this race going –t his is a chance of a lifetime. It is the absolute best event in sailing. And will only get better. It wouldn't happen without all the hard working people behind the scenes. And the volunteers at each of the stops. You all make this really fun for us. In fact, I couldn't have imagined that the sport of sailing would have ever evolved into what this race offers. Amazing.

So, for now I am signing off. Every sailor and shore crew has earned a bit of time off and I plan on having a good sleep and trying to make heads or tails of what has happened over the past nine months. It went by so fast. I for sure know that my life will never be the same. Kathy, Tory and I have experienced the world -Volvo style - and we are all the better for it.

So long for now.

Volvo Ocean Race

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