Puma Racing Team headed by Ken Read confirms entry in Volvo Ocean Race 10/4/07

Puma Racing Team headed by headed by Ken Read (USA) has become the third confirmed entry of the Volvo Ocean Race. To date the others are from Ericsson Racing Team and the Mean Machine syndicate backed by Dutch businessman Peter de Ridder. More announcements will follow in the next few months.

Puma – the global sports lifestyle company – will also be the official supplier and official licensee of replica merchandise for the race which starts in Alicante in October 2008.

Read, considered one of the world’s most accomplished sailors, has twice been involved in America’s Cup campaigns in 2000 and 2003. He was named United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year twice and has over 40 world, North American and National Championships to his credit. Read joined Ericsson Racing Team for the last four legs of the 2005-06 race.

Commenting on the announcement Read said: “Running and skippering a Volvo Ocean Race programme is a dream come true. I’m very proud to be part of the Puma Racing Team and to take the lead in this new and exciting venture.

“I believe PUMA is the type of company that the sailing world needs, which can think outside the box and deliver this sport to an entirely new group of consumers. It’s going to be an incredible journey for all of us.”

On Puma’s decision to enlist the services of Glenn Bourke, the Volvo Ocean Race CEO said: “Puma has chosen wisely in asking Ken Read to head up the campaign. He is one of the finest sailors in the world. He has won multiple one-design sailing events – the toughest cauldron of all.

“He is an incredibly good spokesperson for the sport. He’s a sensible guy, he’s been involved in sailing for a long time, he’s seen it from the grass-roots up and he is one of those special guys who can get the race out to a broader cross section of people and he also gets the big picture. He’s very committed to the sports side, but not at the expense of the business side.”

The 2008-09 event will be the 10th running of this iconic ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, it will for the first time, take in ports in the Middle East and Asia. Spanning some 39,000 nautical miles, stopping at around 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier yacht race for professional racing crews.