Date — 18 May, 2012
Miami, May 18, 2012 – The US Puma Ocean Racing team arrived in Miami to a rapturous reception after winning the sixth stage of the Volvo Ocean Race and taking its second straight leg victory.
The team also won its third 24-hour Speed Record Challenge – an award sponsored by Volvo Ocean Race’s Official Timekeeper, IWC Schaffhausen, and presented to the team that sails the furthest distance within a 24-hour period during each leg. IWC has established a strong identity for itself in the USA and used the occasion to treat the winner of its Money Can’t Buy Experience to unforgettable days of sailing around the Miami harbor.
The six teams in the Volvo Ocean Race have three more legs in front of them before they arrive at the finish in Galway, Ireland, in July. But with two-thirds of the race behind them, the situation as they set out to cross the Atlantic could hardly be more enthralling. Only a few points separate the first four vessels, with Telefónica leading the way on 164, followed by Groupama, Camper, and Puma. This means that any of them is still in with a realistic chance of taking the overall prize. The IWC-sponsored Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team was awarded ten points for fifth place, taking its overall tally to 68. Skipper Ian Walker admitted that a lack of raw boat speed had made it difficult for Abu Dhabi to be competitive, but said that none of the crew had let their heads drop at any point during the leg. The Sanya team was forced to pull out of this leg entirely and will rejoin the fleet for the In-Port Race in Miami.
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Priceless Moments with IWC’s Money Can’t Buy Experience
The USA is an exciting market for IWC Schaffhausen. Having an American founder, Florentine Ariosto Jones, the company established a solid presence in the US market, and marked its return to its roots with the grand opening of a Flagship Boutique in New York City. Only two weeks after the star-studded event, IWC Schaffhausen used the opportunity of the stopover in Miami for a Money Can’t Buy Experience. IWC CEO Georges Kern explained: “As Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race and Team Sponsor of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, we have a unique opportunity to give the winner behind-the-scenes access to one of the world’s greatest sporting events.” Dental technician Humphrey Liu of Toronto tried his luck in the Money Can’t Buy Experience competition on the IWC website and emerged as the winner from among thousands of participants. As part of his prize, he enjoyed a tour of the Azzam, the vessel manned by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, and a get-together with the crew. Liu, whose only previous experience of sailing was aboard a dinghy on Lake Ontario, had his first shot at serious hands-on yachting. The lucky winner was also presented with a Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012” in titanium, when he revealed some interesting news: “In 10 years I plan to sail around the world with my wife Sarah and my two sons”, so it is just as well that he is getting the practice in now.
IWC 24-hour Speed Record Challenge
As Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012, IWC sponsors the 24-hour Speed Record Challenge. The team that covers the greatest distance within a period of 24 hours in each leg is awarded the much-coveted trophy. Puma had cause for double celebrations following their victorious arrival in Miami and the news that their 24-hour run of 511 nautical miles had scooped the IWC Schaffhausen Speed Record Challenge trophy for the sixth leg. They also won the prize in the third leg for a run of 358 miles and in the fourth leg, when they covered 528 miles. President of IWC North America Gianfranco D’Attis awarded the trophy to the crew at a prize-giving ceremony. The overall fastest time over the entire 8 months of the race will land each of the 11 members of the winning crew a Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012.” IWC Schaffhausen will present the watches to the winning crew at the end of the race in Galway, Ireland. After the weekend ahead, featuring the Pro-Am and In-Port Race, the six teams will set sail on Sunday for the seventh leg. The route takes them 3,590 nautical miles to the Portuguese capital Lisbon, where they are expected on May 31, 2012.
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