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PUMA rally for third but Read wants more

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, skippered by Ken Read from the USA finishes third in to the safe haven port on stage 1 of leg 2
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, skippered by Ken Read from the USA finishes third in to the safe haven port on stage 1 of leg 2 © PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG made a major comeback to claim a top three finish in the first stage of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi, just three weeks after their yacht arrived at the leg start with a broken mast on board a cargo ship.

“We went into this leg with confidence. It’s a bit of a shame because we had a couple of points in this leg where we did really the right thing and put ourselves in the right position” - Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing


To watch the raw boat feed of PUMA's arrival, click HERE.

The American team finished in third position at 2333:10 UTC, more than five hours behind Leg 2, Stage 1 winner Team Telefónica  and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand in second place.

PUMA earned 16 points after 16 days of some of the most frustrating sailing of skipper Ken Read’s career.

Despite the stellar comeback, having broken their mast in the middle of the Atlantic during Leg 1 and stepped up a replacement just days before the leg start, Read said he expected more.

“I wouldn’t say it feels good,’’ said the perfectionist skipper. “To be honest, no matter what happened to us on Leg 1, we thought we were pretty sorted when we left Cape Town.  We didn’t make any real improvements to the boat, but the boat was back in one solid piece and our mast problems were behind us.

“We went into this leg with confidence. It’s a bit of a shame because we had a couple of points in this leg where we did really the right thing and put ourselves in the right position.”

Read reckons the make or break moment for his team was when they arrived at the menacing Doldrums in second place behind Groupama sailing team on day 12 of the race. 

PUMA and Groupama took a more westerly course, while Telefónica and CAMPER gained strong wind and the lead in the east.

“That didn’t work for us and that was disappointing for sure,’’ Read said. “We will figure out how to make our calls, our tactical calls better. Tom (Addis) and I have had long chats about how we can do this better, so hopefully we won’t make that mistake again in the future.

“But we expect to be on the podium at the end of every single leg. That’s why we’re here and we’re not using that Leg 1 thing as an excuse at all.”

PUMA remain in fourth position on the overall leaderboard with 25 points.  Twenty per cent of the Leg 2 points will be up for grabs when the teams resume racing to Abu Dhabi from a start point off the Sharjah coastline within days. 


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