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ANTIGUAN SHANNON FALCONE JOINS VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Tuesday 8th May 2012

Photo compliments of www.oracleracing.com.

ORACLE TEAM USA sailor Shannon Falcone has temporarily traded in his multihull union card for one good on a canting keel monohull. Either way, he’s still soaked to the bone.

Falcone has rejoined skipper Ken Read and the PUMA Mar Mostro crew in the Volvo Ocean Race. The crew of 11 departed Brazil yesterday and is bound for Miami on a leg that could last approximately 10 to 14 days. Falcone previously raced the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race with PUMA and skipper Read.

“I’m pretty psyched,” said Falcone. “It hasn’t felt strange at all coming back. I fell right in.”

The crew placed third in the Itajai In-Port Race on Saturday and then embarked on Leg 6 yesterday. This morning PUMA’s Mar Mostro was running neck-and-neck with two others at the head of the fleet. Falcone answered a few questions over dinner last Friday.

You’re stepping aboard while bowman Casey Smith is taking a break due to injury. Does that mean you’ll be the bowman?

That’s right, Casey is the bowman. But I’m slotting into the role I had in the last race, pit and trimmer. The person who was doing that role before, Rome Kirby, is now going forward to fill Casey’s spot. The cool thing about the Volvo is you get to do everything, drive and trim. And, of course, help with sail changes. It’s everyone on deck for sail changes.

You’ve trained aboard the AC45 and even fell off the back of one when Russell Coutts capsized last year. How physical is an AC45 compared to a Volvo Open 70?

The AC45’s are very physical, but you push so hard on a VO70 – I’m going to run my heart rate monitor. The similarity is both boats are undermanned and very physical. The 45’s are super physical, you get spray coming over the hulls and stings your face; it’s very intense and awesome. But you know its only for a few hours and at the end you’ll be back at the base having a hot shower and a meal. On the 70 it’s never ending. It seems like there’s always water over the deck. There’s no break in the action, you can’t call timeout.

What do you expect on this leg?

This is a big reaching leg in the trade winds, should be some great sailing. Leaving Brazil can be tough, in the last race the first day and a half to Cabo Frio was an upwind slog. Hopefully the front expected for the in-port race doesn’t clear away too quickly otherwise it could be another long slog up the coast. That’s never a good way to start a leg. I’ll be playing it careful, keep my wits about me.


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