Kenny Read has already had plenty to worry about so far in this VOR, and if they don’t start peeling off a couple of top finishes real soon, he’ll have even more. This shot taken today from onboard Puma as the fleet took off from safe haven port of Male in the Maldives, in the 3,000 nautical mile race to the fourth port of Sanya, China.
“Another strange start!” said Amory Ross, Puma Media Crew Member, in his first report from onboard. “The line was between one flag on one shore and a radio tower on another; there were virtually no spectators, tons of ferries, fishing boats, and more obstacles to dodge leading up to the gun. But we’re now back to ‘ocean racing,’ something we haven’t been able to say in almost a month.”
As was the case with Leg 2, the Leg 3 route was redrawn and split into two stages due to the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Stage 1 was the one-day sprint to Sharjah. There, the boats were loaded onto a container ship – the Happy Diamond – and transported back to the safe haven port of Male, where they first arrived at during Leg 2. The first stage of Leg 3 accounted for 20 percent over the available leg points, and 80 percent of the points will be awarded for Stage 2.