4/7/12: NEB built PUMA Ocean Racing, wins Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race – An epic 6,705 nautical mile battle from Auckland, NZ, across the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn en route to Brazil.
Armchair sailors around the world were glued to their computer screens for the final few days as PUMA held off a hard charging Telefonica in what ended up as a classic match race to the finish. After nearly 20 days that included every kind of weather imaginable the two weary teams arrived a mere 13 minutes apart at the finish in Brazil's second largest port, Itajai. The celebration began shortly after both boats finished as they were warmly welcomed by an impressive fleet of local boats and a large welcoming crowd in Itajai. Winning skipper Ken Read was overwhelmed. He called it "The toughest leg ever".
Shortly after the finish the exuberant skipper exclaimed: "I am very proud of the boat building team, the shore team and all the engineers and designers who put this boat together. Your boat made it folks. It is in great shape and lord only knows we put her through the ringer. The sailing team salutes you all."
The entire team at New England Boatworks was justifiably proud to see the NEB built VOR 70 survive to win such a "survival of the fittest" contest that saw four of the six starting boats sidelined with damage since the start in Auckland, NZ.
Ken Read and crew will have little time to enjoy the beaches of Brazil before the start of Leg 6 - 3,590 miles to Miami, barely two weeks away on April 22.
For the latest news on the Volvo Ocean Race click on: www.volvooceanrace.com