Ken Read was riding high today after a last-minute tactical gamble paid off and rocketed his PUMA team into second in the Oeiras In-Port Race.
“We got one little opening, one little crack, and if I didn’t have 100 per cent confidence in the crew we couldn’t have pulled it off” - Ken Read, PUMA
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were staring down the barrel of fourth place until Read spotted a chance for a comeback on the penultimate lap of the race, rounding a different mark to their rivals in front.
The move put them in better breeze and more tide, and with little racetrack left PUMA overhauled CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing to take second and pick up a vital five points.
Read credited the comeback to the slick work from his sailors.
“We got one little opening, one little crack, and if I didn’t have 100 per cent confidence in the crew we couldn’t have pulled it off,” he said.
“It was just a call by me, thinking, ‘I think we can shoot this’. We went for it, nobody said a word, and we pulled it off.
“Without that total confidence in a team full of unbelievable boat handlers we couldn’t have done it. Thank God these guys made me look good there.”
The result brings PUMA to within five points of second-placed Telefónica and 10 clear of CAMPER in fourth.
“That was a win for us in a way,” he added. “That was a great comeback. I put the boys in a tough spot, they came through and we passed a couple of boats. That’s always a great thing, to end a race on such a great note like that.”
Despite leaking one point to in-port race winners and overall leaders Groupama, Read said his team, runners up in the 2008-09 race, still had overall victory in their sights with four more scoring opportunities left.
“We’ve been second in this race before, and there’s a lot of racing still to go,” he said. “Groupama are not going to be feeling very secure up there, they know there’s a lot of racing left. There’s still a couple of guys crawling around where we are too so we need to just keep doing well, keep doing the right thing, and hopefully good things will happen.”
- 28 Jun 2012Groupama crowned Leg 8 winners at Lorient public prize giving
- 15 Jun 2012CAMPER win tense battle with PUMA for second
- 12 Jun 2012Groupama edge ahead as top three battle intensifies
- 12 Jun 2012PUMA face do or die moment
- 6 Apr 2012Dockside with PUMA and Telefónica
- 20 Mar 2012PUMA call off Chatham Island detour as conditions moderate