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9 May 2012, 17:11UTC

Miami triumph for PUMA and Read

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IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race
A bearded and beaming PUMA skipper Ken Read enjoyed a glorious homecoming and a second consecutive leg win on Wednesday after an intense match race with close rivals CAMPER that has thrown the overall race wide open.

The American Read and his crew, wearing shorts and T-shirts, crossed the Miami finish line at 1414 local time, 1814 UTC, with a lead of around five nautical miles over CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, who gave them a real scare over a fraught final 24 hours and at one point closed to within just 0.6 nm.

CAMPER crossed the finish line for second place just over an hour later, at 19:21:25 UTC, but to far less pleasant conditions, with a thunderstorm that arrived at just about the same time forcing the crew into foul weather gear for the final miles and indoors for their welcoming reception.

Groupama later came home in third after fending off fourth-placed Telefónica in another tense match race, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing eventually joining them in fifth place.

Those results left the top four on the overall leaderboard separated by just 17 points, while confirming that PUMA are right back in contention.

With six of nine offshore legs now complete, Telefónica lead with 164 points, followed by Groupama on 153, CAMPER on 149 and PUMA on 147.

PUMA’s valiant defence of their long-held lead, which they lost just briefly to CAMPER early in the 4,800 nm race from Itajaí, Brazil, has seen confidence surging among Read and his team.

“This is unbelievable,’’ a heavily bearded Read said just minutes after crossing the line in the company of about 100 spectator boats who had followed their triumphant arrival. “It's great to be back in the United States, actually we've been to Miami before in this boat, so this marks our complete circumnavigation.

“It was touch and go, the guys on CAMPER sailed very well, but I couldn't be more proud of our team, they did an unbelievably great job.”

It is the fourth podium finish in six legs for PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and confirms a major fightback since the team’s devastating retirement from Leg 1 with a broken mast.

CAMPER's second place earned them 25 points and skipper Chris Nicholson complimented his competitors on a hard fought victory against his team who are gaining form ahead of Leg 7.

"It's been a long leg and PUMA have sailed very nicely, they have defended very well, but I think we have attacked well too,’’ he said. “I'm pretty happy with how it's gone. We're in better shape now for the next leg.”

Comments

  • excelente fotografias

  • Great win for Puma and Ken Read and his team. Ken is a great leader and the team has chemistry. You can see that in this race demanding of mental strategy, wind changes, seaweed, islands, no winds in very hot weather for hours, worrying about food tested the team work skills and mental and emotional confidence. They just kept on pushing and pushing and with humor and Ken kept a great hierarchy order. You could see playing a mixture of trust and constant communication with the navigator Tom that has a passion and a humble intuition. It was also so great to see his friend Kirby trusting his own son Rome to learn from him and so the racing environment was at its best in this boat. The idea repeats itself of the master skipper teaching the apprentice through experience and respect. But most important this leg was testing each team player´s role and boats that were based on individuals and their ego trips did not make it. See example of Spanish skipper´s ego and Cape´s ego and frustration and unable to overcome that, need some coaching on that. Tom and Ken had decided the best way from the beginning to go in the middle and proved right and then the biggest trap was crossing the Gulf stream into Miami and they made it with great strategy and passion. The team pitched in great without a flaw or complaint. He described with very good humor the competition with the other boats and he offers great leadership and great human characters under the heat of the race. Media guy please give us more videos and pictures of them, they deserve it in this testing leg of patience and mental strategy, great sailing under a supermoon lighting up the sea and the boat.Enjoy Miami and the good old USA hospitality.

  • Congratulations to Kenny and Puma! I can only imagine the stress of looking over your shoulder all the way from Brazil. Awesome race.

  • Congratulations Puma! you are the only team who made a victory in their home country. Well done, you really deserve it after this massive bad luck during leg1. the momentum is on your side. i am sure, you'll go for it! thumbs up for you.

  • Congratulations to PUMA on wining leg 6. into Miami FL.U.S.A.

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