Last week, Puma invited a select number of journalist to Newport, Rhode Island to the unveiling of the Puma Mar Mostro (or the Monster of the Sea in Italian) for the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. For those who are unfamiliar with the Volvo Ocean Race, you can think of it as the ‘Everest of Sailing’ taking the yacht and the crew on an enduring nine month race around the world. The 2011-2012 race will start in Alicante, Spain, in November 2011 and concludes in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012, the teams will sail more than 39,000 nautical miles of the world’s most treacherous seas via Cape Town, South Africa; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sanya, China; Auckland, New Zealand; around Cape Horn to ItajaÃ, Brazil; to Miami, Florida, USA; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France, finishing in Galway.
This year, Puma will enter a brand new yacht designed by Juan Yacht Design of Valencia, Spain, and constructed at New England Boatworks, Inc., in Portsmouth, R.I. On the exterior are are giant octopus tentacles taking over much of the boat and the sails and even organically shaping into Puma’s Form-Stripe on the side of the boat. The graphics were conceived by Puma’s CMO Antonio Bertone and Puma’s London-based brand design team, GBH and was hand-painted by artist Dean Loucks of Elkhart, Indiana.
Skipper Ken Read will once again take charge of the crew of 10 into this years Volvo Ocean Race after placing only second with the Puma il mostro in the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. In a surprise move, Puma introduced Laird Hamilton, a big wave surfer and the father of modern stand-up paddleboarding, as the honorary 12th crew member. Mr Hamilton will serve as a fitness and nutrition coach for the PUMA Ocean Racing team, applying his proprietary regimen to get the boys ready to face mother nature’s fury at sea. Additionally he will help launch a line of innovative stand-up paddleboards from Puma and Laird.
Puma also introduced Marmo, the new ocean preservation mascot as the 13th honorary crew member. During a chat with Skipper Ken Read, we learned that in the stops during the race, the stop over piers are overwhelmed by children. In this years race, Marmo will not only act as the mascot for team Puma, he will also be the face of PUMA’s newly-launched youth ocean conservation campaign. Marmo will star in an illustrated children’s book “Marmo Saves Our Seas” created by PUMA to educate children and their families about the importance of preserving the wonders of the oceans during the stop overs.
To keep up with the Puma Mar Mostro, Ken Read and crew, Laird Hamilton and Marmo before the November 2011 start date, visit Puma Sailing.
From left: Marmo, designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, Skipper Ken Read, Laird Hamilton and Antonio Bertone
The Team Puma sea and land crew (in red)
Rome Kirby, the youngest sea crew member giving a demonstration of Puma Sailing’s gear.