PUMA Mar Mostro - 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race Contender

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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 Itajaí, 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.

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From left: Marmo, designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, Skipper Ken Read, Laird Hamilton and Antonio Bertone

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The Team Puma sea and land crew (in red)

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Rome Kirby, the youngest sea crew member giving a demonstration of Puma Sailing's gear.

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Laird Hamilton being pulled toward the Mar Mostro on the new Puma standup paddleboard

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Laird Hamilton on the Puma x Laird Standup Paddleboard

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Laird Hamilton racing the Puma Mar Mostro.

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SEA MONSTER SPOTTED! PUMA LAUNCHES MAR MOSTRO SAILING VESSEL AHEAD OF VOLVO OCEAN RACE 2011-2012

BOSTON, MA (June 7, 2011) -- PUMA's Mar Mostro, the "Monster of the Sea," has splashed into the waters of Newport, Rhode Island, USA, and training is underway for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 under the skilled hand of PUMA Ocean Racing Skipper Ken Read. With the completion of the Volvo Open 70 and a full crew in place, preparations will continue for PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion throughout the summer.

Designed by Juan Yacht Design of Valencia, Spain, and constructed at New England Boatworks, Inc., in Portsmouth, R.I., the third generation Volvo Open 70 monohull was uniquely created to sail around the world and face extreme conditions. With a distinct chine that runs from bow to stern, PUMA's Mar Mostro design was tested thoroughly by Juan Kouyoumdjian's team based on input by the veteran PUMA Sailing Team. The yacht weighs 14 metric tons, with a 4.5 meter draft and 5.5 meter beam, and it can reach speeds of more than 40 knots during the race.

"PUMA's Mar Mostro has its own personality. It's the story of a boat that sailed around the world, and somehow the boat and the oceans became one," said Antonio Bertone, PUMA Chief Marketing Officer. "With sustainability as a focus for PUMA, we looked at how to bring respect for the waters and sea life into a central design theme. We also wanted the scheme to show appreciation for the innovative design Juan K created. It's nice that we've done this before. Now we've evolved, creating a boat that's visually and physically powerful, and we're ready to go out there."

"I'm very happy with the work done so far," said Kouyoumdjian. "The boat is very well-built, and after the first weeks of sailing, the overall feeling has been very positive. Congratulations to PUMA and the construction team. We will now support the team through the development phase and be ready for the race."

Juan Yacht Design is also credited with designing previous Volvo Ocean Race winners, ABN-AMRO One and Ericsson 4.

Giant octopus tentacles grip hold of PUMA's Mar Mostro in a dynamic and energetic graphic scheme that wraps around the boat and sails. Conceived by Bertone and PUMA's London-based brand design team, GBH, the boat was hand-painted by artist Dean Loucks of Elkhart, Indiana. The vibrant red tentacles encircle the boat, merging into the PUMA formstrip on the port and starboard sides, and popping against a black backdrop of stingray-influenced scales. The design continues up the black aramid sails. The headsails and mainsail feature the new PUMA "Aqua Cat," a liquid explosion of the iconic PUMA cat emerging from the waves. On the hull, the PUMA "Cavitation Cat" forms out of the bubbles spun from the red painted BERG propellers. A bright orange propeller, measuring 5 square meters, is painted in a spinning pattern and serves as the safety mark underneath. Additionally, surprise aqua details ranging from an octopus with the caption "All Hands on Deck" to a skull and crossbones pop up in hidden spots across the boat in a hugely detailed and unconventional scheme.

"We wanted to create a livery that represents the non-stop battle between the team and the sea," said Mark Bonner, Creative Director at GBH. "We knew it should really mean business. We had a lot of fun thinking about the conventions of sail and boat graphics and subverting them in a very PUMA way. Every element is made virtually from either the monster or the water itself, and our aim was to create an interplay that really comes alive in photography when the boat's design connects with the real waterline of the sea, especially at high speed."

The graphic application will return in the PUMA sailing product line, to be worn by the crew and available to consumers in select markets, online at www.puma.com and during the Volvo Ocean Race stopovers at PUMA pop-up retail locations. 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.

"Mar Mostro is in the water and we're eager to let her loose," said Read. "We worked with the best of the best to develop this boat from the genius of Juan K to the dedicated team at Customline Yachts and New England Boatworks. As I have said before, these races are won or lost before the start. Our entire design and build team has done their job amazingly well, now it's up to the sailors to keep the momentum going."

The PUMA Ocean Racing crew has commenced off-shore training on the new Volvo 70 using Newport, R.I., as a base. Participation in the New York Yacht Club's 157th Annual Regatta (June 10-12) in Newport, R.I., is on the schedule before the team completes in the Transatlantic Race 2011 in July. Following arrival in Europe, their training base will be relocated to Lanzarote, Spain, in the Canary Islands.

The PUMA Ocean Racing team is once again under the leadership of Read (Newport, Rhode Island, United States). Collectively, the crew has won the Around the World Race seven times. The core includes: Tom Addis, Navigator (Sydney, Australia); Ryan Godfrey, Trimmer & Driver (Adelaide, Australia); Kelvin Harrap, Trimmer & Driver (Napier, New Zealand); Brad Jackson, Design Coordinator & Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand); Rome Kirby, Trimmer & Driver (Newport, Rhode Island, USA); Michael "Michi" Müller, Bowman (Kiel, Germany); Tony Mutter, Aerodynamics Coordinator & Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand); Casey Smith, Systems Manager & Bowman (Brisbane, Australia); Jonathan "Jono" Swain, Helmsman & Trimmer (Durban, South Africa); Arden Oksanen, Media Crew Member (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Kimo Worthington, General Manager (Venice, California, United States); and Tim Hacket, Shore Team Manager (Sydney, Australia).

For the 2011-2012 race, PUMA Ocean Racing has proudly partnered with BERG Propulsion, one of the world's leading designers and producers of controllable pitch propellers for commercial shipping. BERG Propulsion products are designed and engineered with the reduction of adverse environmental impact in mind, striving to bring fuel savings and environmental benefits to every product. This commitment to sustainability and strive for high performance makes them a perfect partner for PUMA.

The Volvo Ocean Race is an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endeavor and is widely known as the "Everest of Sailing.' During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012, which starts 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 Itajaí, Brazil; to Miami, Florida, USA; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France, finishing in Galway.

For more information on the race, team and crew visit www.puma.com/sailing