PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG announced today that Shannon Falcone will sail on board PUMA’s Mar Mostro for Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Itajaí, Brazil, to Miami, Florida, USA. Falcone takes the place of bowman Casey Smith who injured his back during the last leg of the race from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí. Helmsman Kelvin Harrap also rejoins the team, returning from injury after missing Leg 5.
“We were really lucky to have Shannon on ‘stand by’ specifically for a situation like this one,” said PUMA skipper Ken Read. “Losing Casey is a tough situation for our team, eased only by the fact that Shannon has a lot of experience with us – both in the last race and training this past summer. We are really happy that he is ready to go.”
Falcone, 30 from Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, will sail in his second Volvo Ocean Race with PUMA Ocean Racing beginning with Saturday’s In-Port Race in Itajaí. He was part of the PUMA team for the 2008-09 edition of the race, serving as trimmer and pitman for eight legs. Falcone is currently a member of the ORACLE Racing team training for the 34th America’s Cup. In 2010, he was on BMW ORACLE Racing’s extended crew, winner of the 33rd America’s Cup, and he has been a part of the Mascalzone Latino (2000) and Luna Rossa (2007) America’s Cup campaigns.
“The pressure is on,” said Falcone. “It’s always difficult joining a crew after a win, and I have some big shoes to fill in Casey’s absence. The guys did a great job the last leg, and we want to follow up with the same on this next leg to Miami.”
Smith (Brisbane, Australia) injured his lower back just before the start of the grueling Leg 5, and he stayed on board through the team’s first-place finish in the leg. He will remain at home in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, during the upcoming leg for treatment and rehab. He is expected to rejoin the team in Miami.
Harrap, who missed Leg 5 due to carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms as well as bursitis in his elbow, resumes his role with the PUMA crew this week.
Racing gets underway in Itajaí with the Pro Am Race on Friday, April 20, followed by the In-Port Race on Saturday, April 21, and the start of Leg 6 to the lone U.S. stop of Miami, Florida, on Sunday, April 22.
The Volvo Ocean Race started on November 5 in Alicante, and the fleet is traveling 39,000 nautical miles through 10 ports, finishing in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012.
The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team is under the leadership of Read (Newport, Rhode Island, United States). Collectively, the crew has won the Around the World Race six times. The core includes: Tom Addis, Navigator (Sydney, Australia); Shannon Falcone (Falmouth Harbour, Antigua); Ryan Godfrey, Pitman (Adelaide, Australia); Kelvin Harrap, Helmsman & Inshore Tactician (Napier, New Zealand); Brad Jackson, Design Coordinator & Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand); Rome Kirby, Trimmer & Driver (Newport, Rhode Island, USA); Michael “Michi” Müller, Bowman (Kiel, Germany); Tony Mutter, Aerodynamics Coordinator & Watch Captain (Auckland, New Zealand); Jonathan “Jono” Swain, Helmsman & Trimmer (Durban, South Africa); Amory Ross, Media Crew Member (Newport, Rhode Island, USA); Kimo Worthington, General Manager (Portsmouth, Rhode Island, United States); and Tim Hacket, Shore Team Manager (Sydney, Australia).
POS TEAM OVERALL
1 Team Telefónica 147
2 Groupama Sailing Team 127
3 CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 119
4 PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 113
5 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 55
6 Team Sanya 25
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG scoring:
POS RACE/LEG PTS TOTAL
2 Alicante In-Port Race 5 5
— Leg 1* — 5
3 Cape Town In-Port Race 4 9
3 Leg 2, Stage 1 16 25
4 Leg 2, Stage 2 (3rd in Leg 2 overall) 3 28
4 Abu Dhabi In-Port Race 3 31
2 Leg 3, Stage 1 5 36
4 Leg 3, Stage 2 12 48
2 Sanya In-Port Race 5 53
2 Leg 4 25 78
2 Auckland In-Port Race 5 83
1 Leg 5 30 113
* Retired from leg