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PUMA's crew breathed a huge collective sigh of relief on Saturday after the tricky rescue mission to retrieve them and their boat from Tristan da Cunha went without a hitch.

"It’s hard to believe we have another three days at sea before Cape Town, but we’re finally going and that’s all that matters to any of us out here"

Their cargo ship Team Bremen plucked Mar Mostro from the waters off the Atlantic island yesterday and the PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team are now safely on their way to Cape Town.

They are hoping to be ready for the Cape Town In-Port Race next Saturday (December 10) and the second leg start the following day.

The Volvo Open 70 was carefully hoisted on to the massive Team Bremen by huge lifting machinery. Any serious slip could have led to damage which could have spelled disaster for the multi-million dollar campaign.

Fortunately for skipper Ken Read's campaign, the Atlantic was flat calm and the operation worked perfectly.

In a report from the ship today PUMA media crew member Amory Ross describes how the rescue procedure went:

PUMA Ocean Racing’s easterly progress has resumed. At about 14:30 UTC yesterday afternoon our “Mar Mostro” and it’s splintered mast were pulled from the waters of Tristan and placed on the deck of the freighter ship “TEAM BREMEN.”

It is our new new home, and we’re now steaming towards South Africa and the starting line of Leg 2 at 14 knots. It would be an understatement to say that we’re relieved. There were so many variables; so many risks to the procedure that could have wrong, but it went flawlessly. Not a single hiccup, not one.

The day started with an emotional goodbye to our gracious hosts of Tristan de Cunha, who took us in like one of their own.

The beds, the food, the smiles—everywhere we turned somebody was doing something for us, offering to help in any way. Tristanians are great people and they certainly made our emotional recovery easier; we were lucky to have been marooned there.

Brad was sporting his souvenir t-shirt last night and everyone proudly discovered their Tristan passport stamp this morning (it is massive). Thank you Tristan, thank you all. We know you’re reading this!

Once out to the boat we got started on the anchor. It took an hour to clear the forest of kelp that had accumulated there, another hour to motor into the lee of the volcano, another hour to tie up with the BREMEN and set the lifting straps, another hour to lift, lower, and secure the boat, and then we were off, motoring at a heading of 085, just as the sun began to set.

It’s hard to believe we have another three days at sea before Cape Town but we’re finally going and that’s all that matters to any of us out here.

Chris Hill from the shore team came bearing a container full of tools, hardware, and beer, and it’s made work much more convenient. Ryan is fixing sails in the “hold” below deck, Tom’s de-wiring the rig, Rome’s polishing the interior, Michi’s servicing winches, Casey’s laying carbon, Brad’s studying the damaged rigging—everyone’s got something to keep busy.

We have no time to spare when we get in so each small job completed at sea is a big victory for Leg 2 preparedness.

In case any of you are worried that we work too hard, rest easy; our social schedule continues to thrive, even out here. We have a mid-ocean TEAM BREMEN / PUMA barbecue planned for tonight on the aft deck of the ship.

Dress code you ask? Stained and smelly.

Amory

Comments

  • Still no mention of how the mast got broken. Was not a result of bad weather, so what happened?

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Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion's mar mostro is loaded onto the container ship Team Bremen, just off the island of Tristan da Cunha, ready for the trip back to Cape Town, South Africa to join the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 fleet for the start of leg 2.