Ken Read Pleased With Mar Mostro Performance in Transatlantic Race

Photo by Arden Oksanen / Puma Ocean Racing

Mar Mostro finished the Transatlantic Race 2011 at 05:40 UTC this morning. It took her 7 days, 11 hours and 40 minutes to complete the 2,975 nautical mile course and she is currently leading the IRC overall standings — much to the surprise of PUMA Ocean Racing skipper Ken Read.

“We wanted to learn the boat and the crew. Now, here we are in the position of possibly winning a race that we didn’t expect to win. We’re pleasantly shocked.”

The second boat to cross the finish line at Lizard Point, Cornwall, UK, behind Rambler 100, Mar Mostro is currently leading the IRC overall standings based on corrected time.

“We entered the race with zero expectations, just like the other IRC handicap racing we’ve done this year,” skipper Read said. “We wanted to learn the boat and the crew. Now, here we are in the position of possibly winning a race that we didn’t expect to win. We’re pleasantly shocked. We didn’t break anything, the sails held up, the team is certainly coming together, and there’s not a single negative to this race. It was a great experience.”

PUMA’s crew departed Newport, R.I., on Sunday, July 3, alongside five other boats in IRC Class 1 in the final start of the race. Rambler 100 earned line honours after finishing on Sunday. Overall, 26 boats ranging from 40 to 289 feet in length entered the race.

Mar Mostro reached a maximum speed of just over 30 knots early in the race, traveling 551 nautical miles on Day 3. By Friday, light air slowed the pace through the line.

“The finish was excruciating,” Read said. “We approached The Lizard, knowing we had to get there quick because the current was about to change and go against us. As we entered the English Channel, the breeze was dying steadily to the point where the current did change. Literally, when the race committee said we were finished, we were stopped and about to throw the anchor as we would have been going backwards with the current. A bizarre twist to the finish.

“But, this is boat racing,” Read continued. “It’s great training because you have to be ready for the extreme highs and lows, and that goes for weather as well. To finish in a complete drift off is another lesson learned – be prepared for everything.”

Read and crew are not stopping in the UK, but are already heading south to the Canary Islands. The team’s summer training headquarters becomes the Puerto Calero Marina in Lanzarote at the end of this week. From there, the crew will head to the race start location of Alicante, Spain, in late September.

“The boat doesn’t have a list of any real problems,” Read said looking ahead. “But, we can’t sit back and think we’re done or that we’re great. We know we have to get better, and an experience like this helps us sort out a lot of little things that we can get better at. If you don’t improve every day, then you’re going backwards because everybody else is improving.”

Sent via OfficialWinds (source: Volvo Ocean Race via Scuttlebutt)