If you haven’t been following the Volvo Ocean Race you missed America’s sailing team PUMA power by BERG (PUMA is a sportslifestyle and watch manufacturing company), make all the right moves in leg four of the race. In what could become a defining moment in the annals of yachting as well as for PUMA’s ocean racing team, skipper Ken Read chose to sail Mar Mostro out of the South China Sea toward Tokyo, north the complete opposite direction of leg four’s finish in Auckland, New Zealand.
PUMA’s daring move was a strategic effort to place them in the lead of leg four against Spain’s sailing team, Telefonica, which has won legs one, two and three of the Volvo Ocean Race. PUMA being tied in fourth place of leg four and in dire need of points especially after Mar Mostro’s mast broke during leg one had nothing to lose by taking, what the media has labeled, this gamble on Saturday (February 25).
Skipper Read sought out winds in Tokyo which pushed them north speeding with the wind at 22 knots, while the other yachts sailed upwind at 11-15 knots. Read said in an interview, “This is a long-term strategy, not a short-term one.” He further elaborated that PUMA would sail in an arc (boomerang around) to hopefully meet up ahead of the other yachts.
PUMA’s strategic move paid off Sunday morning. PUMA went from being 250 nm (nautical miles) behind to less than 100 and continues to be the fastest yacht in the fleet. Needless to say the team is in high spirits with this amazing feat. While PUMA remains in fourth place, they are celebrating the gutsiest move that has now placed PUMA’s nautical miles to less than 100 something to smile about indeed.
Ranking as of Leg Three:
- Telefonica (Spain) remains in first place with 101 points;
- Camper /ETNZ (Spain/New Zealand) is in second place with 83 points;
- Groupama (France) is in third place with 73 points;
- PUMA power by BERG (U.S.) is in fourth place with 53 points;
- Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.) is in fifth place with 43 point;
- Sanya (China) is in sixth place with 17 points.
Volvo Ocean Racing has been referred to the “Mount Everest of Ocean Racing” and if anyone agrees with that assessment it would be PUMA powered by BERG. The adversity they faced when Mar Mostro’s mast broke in the first leg was undoubtedly disturbing as well as spirit breaking. However, perseverance and ingenuity has proven to be the wind in Mar Mostro’s sails (pun intended). It is their team spirit that has helped PUMA powered by BERG make all the right moves, and hopefully such strategic moves will be to their advantage throughout this ocean race. Leg four is expected to finish approximately on March 8.
If you wish to follow PUMA powered by BERG tune into their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/puma