On October 11, Newport's Kenny Read (left with wife Kathy and daughter Tory) will depart Alicante, Spain with one mission: Sail around the world. FAST. Well, faster than the other Volvo 70s participating in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race that is. Supported by his crew aboard PUMA Ocean Racing's new boat Il Mostro, Read will skipper the boat on a 37,000 NM journey around the world starting in Alicante and ending in St Petersburg, Russia one year from now.
To say Kenny is one of the most experienced and talented sailors on the planet is true for sure, but this will be his first round-the-world race and he remains optimistic and confident yet humbled by what the strength of the open ocean can bring. While he and his team have been eating their "three-square's-a-day" at Belle's Cafe for the past three months, PUMA's corporate marketing and public relations teams have also descended on the Shipyard to get a taste of what sailing is all about.
On a typical day, you will see Il Mostrohauled and launched; the PUMA crew carrying sails down extra-wide 'Charlie' Dock; PUMA's sailmakers repairing and recutting sails in the sail loft of their Newport Shipyard compound; Kenny and PUMA execs dining at Belle's Cafe strategizing for their trip around the world and trying to figure out how to keep a eye on Jerry Kirby for that many miles. We wish them safety above all else, and will be here with open arms to greet them on their return.