Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Puma takes a hit

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/VolvoOcean Race
PUMA have sustained serious structural damage for the second time in 24 hours and are considering whether to re-route away from the rest of the fleet to Cochin.
The night before last, they crashed off a wave which caused several cracks in the longitudinal frames of the bow section. They bent the bow pulpit and shredded an asymmetric spinnaker in the process. The fix took seven hours but cost PUMA little in time to their rivals at the head of the fleet.

Then at 04:30 GMT this morning, as the fleet blasted along in 25 knots of squally southern ocean, they suffered a further blow when the boat was launched off another wave.
This time the main section of the boat took the brunt of the impact - just behind the keel frame. "This time it's a bit more serious," skipper Ken Read said. "This one may be a bit tougher to work around. Not only is this break in the central structure for the entire boat, but it will take quite a bit longer to put a fix on - maybe as long as 24 hours." -