[Source: Puma Ocean Racing] Today Ken Read, skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing, announced his core crew and management team for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. The team departs Alicante, Spain today to bring il mostro, PUMA Ocean Racing’s boat that secured a 2nd place finish in the last Volvo Ocean Race, back to Newport, Rhode Island where the team will immediately start training for the next race. il mostro will serve as the team’s training boat until a new boat, which will compete in the 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, is completed.
PUMA has named Juan Yacht Design, of Valencia, Spain as the lead boat designer of the new PUMA Ocean Racing yacht. Juan Kouyoumdjian’s designs have a perfect record in the VOR since the inception of the Volvo Open 70 Rule. They are credited with designing the 2006 VOR winner, ABN AMRO 1 and the 2009 VOR winner, Ericsson 4.
“The decision to go with Juan to design PUMA’s new boat was a major step forward for the program, and set in motion a number of key hires that have formed the nucleus of the team,” said Skipper Ken Read.
Two new key members of the team include multiple Volvo Ocean Race winners, Brad Jackson and Tony Mutter. Each sailor was integral to the winning teams in both the 2006 and 2009 races. Jackson is a three-time winner of the VOR and will serve as design coordinator for PUMA Ocean Racing, mixing the sailing team’s input with Juan Kouyoumdjian’s creative and technical expertise. Mutter is a two-time VOR winner and will run the aero program, working closely with Steve Calder of North Sails and mast designer, Scott Ferguson. While sailing, Tony and Brad will also serve as watch captains. Returning from PUMA’s 2009 campaign is bowman and systems manager Casey Smith. “When the boat breaks offshore Casey has to fix it, so having him be part of design process with the build team early on will save us a lot with durability down the road,” explained Read. Rob Greenhalgh also rejoins the PUMA crew after being a late but welcomed addition in the last race. Returning shore-team members include: Kimo Worthington, General Manager, and Tim Hacket, who will serve as the Shore Team Manager.
New sailing team members include navigator Tom Addis (Telefonica Blue co-navigator), Jono Swain (Telefonica Blue watch captain) and Andrew Lewis (Rambler trimmer and ABN AMRO 2 tactician). “The decisions we make now are the ones that will create success in this race, and having this team of veterans involved early certainly increases our chances to make proper decisions,” said Read of the team assembled so far. “Not only do we have a team that can sail a boat fast, but we have a team that understands what it takes to compete in a race like the Volvo. Great attitudes, great skills, which hopefully increases our chances for success.”
Cumulatively, the management and sailing team for PUMA Ocean Racing shares a level of success difficult to match with 20 Volvo Ocean Race entries and 14 America’s Cup editions. Collectively, the core team holds eight 24-hour mono hull speed records.The Volvo Ocean Race begins October 2011 in Alicante, Spain and ends in Galway, Ireland in June 2012. The eight stopovers in between include: Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya (China), Auckland, Itajaí (Brazil), Miami, Lisbon and Lorient (France). PUMA continues to produce and expand their line of sailing performance gear and remains the first Sportlifestyle company to participate in a venture of this kind. PUMA will also be the official supplier of all Volvo Ocean Race merchandise.
Puma Ocean Racing Sailing Team:
Ken Read, 48 (Rhode Island, United States)
Considered to be one of the world’s most accomplished racers, Read was in charge of PUMA Ocean Racing and at the helm of PUMA’s il mostro throughout the entire Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009. The U.S.-born Read has twice helmed America’s Cup programs in 2000 and 2003 and was named “United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year” twice and has 46 World, North American and National Championships to his credit.
Tom Addis, 40 (Sydney, Australia)
Addis, a trained meteorologist, joins PUMA as a navigator after sailing with Telefonica Blue during the Volvo, taking two leg wins. Tom has sailed thousands of offshore miles onboard Maxi Alfa Romero, winning both Sydney-Hobart and Transpac races. Addis also sailed with America’s Cup Team New Zealand in 2007.
Rob Greenhalgh, 32 (Hamble, United Kingdom)
Helmsman & Trimmer
2009 18’ Skiff World Champion, Greenhalgh is back with PUMA after joining the crew during the 08/09 race. Greenhalgh was a vital part of PUMA’s last campaign and served as tactician for Ken Read during in port racing and watch captain offshore. Rob has sailed two previous Volvo Ocean Races and was part of the crew, along with Tony Mutter and Brad Jackson, who won the race with ABN AMRO 1 during the 05/06 edition of the race.
Brad Jackson: 42 (Auckland, New Zealand)
Design Coordinator & Watch Captain
Named New Zealand Sailor of the Year in 2009, Jackson has sailed the Volvo Ocean Race five times, numerous Sydney-Hobarts, Fastnets and Trans-Atlantics. Jackson was a member of the Ericsson 4 boat that won the VOR 2008-2009 and has been part of three 24-hour monohull speed records. In addition to his role as watch captain, Jackson will serve as design coordinator for the PUMA program, mixing the sailors’ input with Juan K’s creative and technical expertise.
Andrew “Junior” Lewis: 27 (Honolulu, United States)
Trimmer & Driver
Lewis will be one of the three under-30 sailors onboard PUMA’s new boat. Lewis has logged thousands of offshore miles, sailing onboard ABN AMRO 2 during the VOR 05/06 race and on Rambler during the record breaking Transatlantic Race and Middle Sea races. Lewis also has a long list of honors for inshore racing ranging from the Laser Class and America’s Cup. He was part of the monohull record-breaking crew of ABN AMRO 2 during the 05/06 race.
Tony Mutter, 41 (Auckland, New Zealand)
Aerodynamics Coordinator & Watch Captain
Mutter joins PUMA after sailing onboard Volvo Ocean Race 08/09 winner Ericsson 4. Mutter has sailed five Volvos, five Fastnet Races and five Maxi Worlds. He has been part of three Volvo crews where the 24-hour monohull record has been broken. As aerodynamics coordinator, he will work closely with North Sails to design the next generation of VO70 sails. Tony will sail onboard for PUMA as watch captain.
Casey Smith, 31 (Brisbane, Australia)
Systems Manager & Bowman
Smith joined the crew of PUMA’s il mostro for the Volvo Ocean Race 08/09 as one of the under 30’s. Smith was instrumental in repairing structural damages to il mostro during the last race. And was honored for the sportsmanship award for his efforts in replacing il mostro’s rudder during the Leg 7 Trans-Atlantic crossing. Smith has sailed the 08/09 Volvo Ocean Race and numerous Sydney-Hobart races and Trans-Atlantic crossings.
Jonathan “Jono” Swain, 43 (Durban, South Africa)
Helmsman & Trimmer
Jono Swain comes to PUMA with experience in four Volvo Ocean Races, most recently as watch captain onboard Telefonica Blue. Swain is considered an “all around sailor,” mixing offshore experience with an impressive inshore resume which includes and America’s Cup campaign, Louis Vuitton Series and trimming on Mean Machine.
PUMA Ocean Racing Shore Team Management:
Kimo Worthington, 50 (California, United States)
Kimo Worthington has a rare combination of management expertise onshore and leadership on the water. His professional sailing career includes competing in six America’s Cups, including a win with America3 in 1992, and numerous offshore miles. In the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race, Worthington was watch captain and sailing team manager for the winning EF Language team. In the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 edition he served as General Manager for second place Pirates of the Caribbean and in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 he was general manager for PUMA Ocean Racing.
Tim Hacket, 38 (Sydney, Australia)
Shore Team Manager
Tim Hacket has been building racing yachts for over 20 years. A native Australian, Tim is now based in Newport, Rhode Island. Tim’s experience includes four America’s Cup boat builds and two Volvo Ocean Race shore teams, mostly recently as part of PUMA’s Volvo 2008/09 campaign.