Casey Smith.
Casey Smith.

Smith back on board with Puma crew

SUNSHINE Coast sailor Casey Smith and his crew-mates are back up-and-racing in the Volvo Ocean Race around the world.

The Puma team has safely farewelled South Africa's Cape Town and is racing 5430 nautical miles towards Abu Dhabi.

They are placed fourth on the overall pointscore after breaking their mast in the first leg of the race from Spain's Alicante to Cape Town and placing third in the weekend's in-port race.

Mooloolaba Yacht Club member and Puma bowman Smith was a key contributor in the mast rescue mission, hopping over the side of the yacht in the southern Atlantic ocean to manage the mast and mainsail as the crew dragged the equipment back on deck.

They were forced to bide their time on a remote island while waiting for assistance.

Led by US skipper Ken Read, the Puma crew is now focused on avoiding any more major dramas and achieving a fast ride around Cape of Good Hope and on to the Middle East.

They do, however, have one problem that all the fleet is keen to avoid.

The route to Abu Dhabi "has been redrawn because of the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean, with the teams due to make for an undisclosed safe haven port and then be transported by heavy lift ship to a position off the Sharjah coastline in the northern Emirates", Puma team management said.

From there they will sprint in to Abu Dhabi for the finish, expected shortly after the first of the year.

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