Ken Read’s team wins Leg 6 into Miami, Camper is second
PUMA’s American skipper Ken Read enjoyed a glorious homecoming and a second consecutive leg win on Wednesday after an intense 18-day match race with close rivals CAMPER that has thrown the overall race wide open.
Read’s men crossed the Miami finish line at 1414 local time, 1814 UTC, with a lead of around five nautical miles over CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, who gave them a real scare over a fraught final 24 hours and at one point closed to within just 0.6 nm.
PUMA’s valiant defence of their long-held lead, which they lost just briefly to CAMPER early in the 4,800 nm race from Itajaí, Brazil, has earned them 30 points and made them serious trophy contenders with 147 overall.
“This is unbelievable,” Read said just minutes after crossing the line in the company of about 100 spectator boats. “It’s great to be back in the United States, actually we’ve been to Miami before in this boat, so this marks our complete circumnavigation.
“It was touch and go, the guys on CAMPER sailed very well, but I couldn’t be more proud of our team, they did an unbelievably great job.”
It is the fourth podum finish in six legs for PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and confirms a major fightback since the team’s devastating retirement from Leg 1 with a broken mast.
CAMPER finished 1hr 8min behind.
The finish marks a major shift on the overall race leader board that threatens Team Telefónica’s grip, with their 16-point lead set to decrease by at least one, but potentially five points.
The Spanish team are still on the race track tussling with Groupama sailing team for the remaining podium finish, with an ETA of 2300 UTC.