After coming in second place overall in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, PUMA has decided to do it again in 2011-12, once again under the leadership of skipper Ken Read.
PUMA joins France’s Groupama syndicate, Italia 70 and Team Abu Dhabi as officially declared entries. About 20 other syndicates are reportedly working to put together viable campaigns for the race as well.
Volvo recently announced the complete route for event, which starts in the port of Alicante, Spain, and then continues on with stops in Cape Town, South Africa; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Sanya, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Itaja, Brazil; Miami, Florida; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France; and a finish in the port of Galway, Ireland.
This time around, PUMA will be partnering with BERG Propulsion, a manufacturer of controllable-pitch propellers for commercial shipping. The team’s formal name will be “PUMA Ocean Racing, powered by BERG Propulsion.”
“This last race was an amazing journey for me personally and for our startup company PUMA Ocean Racing,” Read said. “To have the opportunity to continue where we left off is a dream come true…We look forward to the challenges that lie ahead both organizationally as well as competitively.”
Team selection is already underway. The final team will likely include a number of sailors from PUMA’s 2008-09 campaign, plus a mix of new and veteran talent from the professional racing world. Training will begin onboard PUMA’s il mostro in Spring 2010 at the team’s home base in Newport, Rhode Island.