Tag Archive | "Kelvin Harrap"

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Thomas Johanson joins Puma Ocean Racing

Posted on 14 March 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Puma Ocean Racing] The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team has announced that Thomas Johanson will join the crew for Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Johanson, from Espoo, Finland, will take the place of helmsman Kelvin Harrap (Napier, New Zealand) onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro for the journey from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil, which gets underway on Sunday, March 18. Harrap, who will take a break due to carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms as well as bursitis in his elbow, will remain part of the crew through the In-Port Race on Saturday, March 17.

“Kelvin is a huge part of our crew, and it’s tough to lose him at this stage in the game,” said PUMA skipper Ken Read. “We’re facing what is always a tough and daunting leg in the race – the Southern Ocean. So, we’re incredibly lucky Thomas is able to bring his knowledge and experience to this team for a stretch of sailing he honestly enjoys. The Southern Ocean is no place to sail with injuries that impact your ability to be fast and safe. Its a good time to try and get Kelvin healthy again.”

Johanson, age 42, returns to the Volvo Ocean Race after sailing onboard Ericsson 3 and finishing fourth during the 2008-09 edition of the race. A three-time Olympian (1996, 2000, 2004), he captured the gold medal in the 49er class at the 2000 Olympic Games along with teammate Jyrki Jarvi – Finland’s first medal in sailing in 20 years. Johanson won bronze at the 2000 World Championships, he is also a two-time Laser European Champion (1991, 1992) and captured the Laser World Championship in 1993 – a regatta held in Auckland. He recently served as skipper of the 60-foot trimaran TietoEnator from 2004-06.

“I’m excited to be joining the PUMA crew, and this is the best leg in the Volvo Ocean Race,” Johanson said. “The last time I sailed through the Southern Ocean we won the leg, so it brings good memories. The Southern Ocean is both scary and rewarding at the same time. I’m already focused on getting ready for the night sailing, the risks of icebergs as you go so far south, and all that the leg involves. And, the last time I was in Auckland was in 1993 when I won the Laser World Championship – it was also a big moment for me.”

Harrap will begin treatment immediately in New Zealand. If the treatment is successful he is expected to rejoin the crew at the conclusion of Leg 5 in Brazil. He is facing post-race surgery regardless. Harrap, who is in the midst of his third round the world race, was named to the PUMA team in March 2011. He has served as helmsman and inshore tactician since the start of this year’s race.

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Kelvin Harrap and Rome Kirby join PUMA Ocean Racing

Posted on 10 March 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] To round off PUMA Ocean Racing’s crew of elite sailors, the team has appointed Volvo Ocean Race veteran, Kelvin Harrap and young Rome Kirby as the third Under 30 to join the team.

Kelvin Harrap from New Zealand, brings experience to the team with two previous Whitbread Round the World Races under his belt. Harrap will be a driver and trimmer onboard PUMA but his inshore experience will also make him a valuable asset for the in-port racing. Having participated in several Olympic and America’s Cup campaigns, he will be taking up the role of tactician to secure the team inshore points.

The last Under 30 to join the team is Rome Kirby, son of Jerry Kirby, three-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran. Kirby father is a veteran of the sailing world, with more than three decades as bowman and no less than three Volvo Ocean Races and six America’s Cup under his belt. His first Whitbread was in 1997, when he sailed onboard Chessie Racing and in 2005-06 he raced on Pirates of the Caribbean skippered by Paul Cayard. The famous bowman joined PUMA Ocean Racing for the 2008-09 edition at the age of 52, where he was known as the oldest of his kind.

And like father like son, in the 2011-12 edition, his son Rome Kirby will be sailing his first Volvo Ocean Race as trimmer and driver onboard PUMA Ocean Racing. The Kirby men must have it in their blood. Rome Kirby started sailing at the age of three and has been perfecting his skills through US and International junior sailing circuit until he was 14 when he started adding offshore miles to his growing inshore experience. Rome Kirby is the youngest team member of the PUMA Ocean Racing crew.

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