We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Olympian and Ocean racer Annie Lush nominates the Volvo 70 Puma.
“I stepped on board Volvo 70 Puma for the first time in Southampton to start trials for Team SCA for the Volvo Ocean Race. I’d just come from the Olympics in the Elliott 6m, so compared to the boats I was used to she looked like a machine.
“I remember sailing out of the Solent and bearing away onto a reach. The boat launched. I’d never felt boat speeds that high and consistent before. Going over 15 knots in my career thus far had involved falling down a very big wave, while hanging on to the tiller, or pumping a heavy kite as hard as possible. On Puma the helm was so light, the speed so easy.
“There must have been a broad grin on my face at the wheel because Sam Davies, who was trimming the main next to me, said: ‘You know you’ll never go back now’. Although I still like being able to go to the pub at the end of a day inshore racing, something does keep drawing me back to the Ocean Race.”
Volvo 70 Puma stats rating:
Top speed: 40 knots
LOA: 21.5m/70ft 6in
Adrenalin factor: 85%
English sailor Annie Lush became a keelboat specialist and multiple match racing world champion, predominantly crewing with the MacGregor sisters in the Yngling and Elliot 6m Olympic classes before being selected and competing in the Volvo Ocean Race for Team SCA in 2014/15 and then Team Brunel in the 2017/18 edition.
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