Thursday, 30 June 2011

VOR : Top surfer Laird Hamilton hired to shape up PUMA Challenge

Ken Read (left), PUMA skipper, and Laird Hamilton. Image copyright Dan Armstrong/PUMA.

by Volvo Ocean Race media

Californian Hamilton, 47, made his name for his daring feats on a surfboard and he remains one of the fittest surfers so made the perfect choice for PUMA's Read, a spokesman said in Newport, Rhode Island.

As part of the crew, he will be the official fitness and nutrition coach and join Read for the training of the team ahead of the race which starts in Alicante, Spain on 29 October.

Mar Mostro. Image copyright Dan Armstrong/PUMA.

"There's a great reason to have Laird around. The amount of times that somebody has told me when I said I was going to do this (the race) again that I was crazy but Laird is by far crazier -he makes me look sane," joked Read.

"Seriously, he brings special things to us. He really knows the ocean."

Hamilton told that although he had not known Read long they had already formed a strong bond.

Mar Mostro. Image copyright Dan Armstrong/PUMA.

"Even though we are from different sports we have so much in common," he said.

"I think top sportsmen from different pursuits have more in common with each other than they do with people from their own sports who are a little further down the pecking order."

Although he said the PUMA crew were already in good shape he thought they could benefit quickly from his knowhow.

"Especially in nutrition. I have been eating and doing the right things for my body since I was a kid. It's natural to me. I have always lived this way.

"Not everybody has been so lucky and I want to pass that on."

Mar Mostro. Image copyright Dan Armstrong/PUMA.

Fitness and strength have become much more important in the Volvo Ocean Race in recent years with all participating crews adding a strict daily regime to the rest of their training routines.

Hamilton is also known as one of the top proponents of paddleboarding and he has designed a new hi-tech, standup version to mark his partnership with Read's Volvo Ocean Race challenge.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race