PUMA Ocean Racing was born in March of 2007. What a year and a half it
has been. And today, it all came together. This morning at 11:00AM Eastern
Standard Time, we set off from Newport, RI., bound for Alicante, Spain.
Our team has called this our personal "leg 1" of the Volvo Ocean
Race. We have practiced everything imaginable with this boat and crew
for a good part of the year and a half, so why not practice an actual
Volvo leg? We had everyone and everything (the boat, the sails, sailors,
and families) consider our leaving a race day. Even our shore team was
in the mindset, and they are probably breaking down the shore base back
in Newport as I write. And thank goodness we pulled it off because we
would have looked pretty silly to all the press that showed up for our
send off. So now we’ve been offshore for about 5 hours and have heard
the 55th version of Jerry Kibry’s story of running "Yankee Girl"
up on a small island called No Mans Land off the tip of Martha’s Vineyard.
I swear he really thinks he is telling us this story for the first time.
And man does he crack himself up… Anyway, when we come by these parts
again in about 8 months time hopefully we will have circumnavigated the
world with just 4 short legs to complete the full Volvo Ocean Race. Boston,
the only North American stopover in the race is just a short trip around
Nantucket and Cape Cod (from where we are right now). Joe Fallon and his
team at Fan Pier have promised us a heck of a party when we get there.
So where do we go from here? Only time will tell, but I sure know where
er have been. Tons of work has gone into the campaign from more people
I can ever list or thank. Starting with PUMA, who believed in this race
and our team. We are on our way to the official start of the Volvo Ocean
race 2008-2009 in Alicante, to really get things going, but it’s a huge
relief to get on our way and begin our personal "leg 1." We’ll
keep you informed as we go. -Ken Read