At a press event on Friday, Volvo Ocean Race organizers announced that Boston will serve as the eighth stop of the 2008-2009 race, which begins in Alicante, Spain, next October.Complementing the announcement of the Boston stopover was the introduction of the Boston-based entry, the PUMA Racing Team, which will be skippered by Ken Read and sponsored, of course, by PUMA. The global sport lifestyle company has its North American and international brand headquarters in Boston.PUMA Global introduced Read, the training boat, and the PUMA Racing Team at the Boston Harbor Hotel at a gathering attended by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, PUMA CEO Jochen Zeitz, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Glenn Bourke, Save the Harbor President Patricia A. Foley, and Secretary Daniel O’Connell of Massachusetts.Bourke said that the confirmation of Boston as a host port was a welcome addition to the new ground-breaking route which includes the Middle East and Asia for the first time in the race’s 34-year history.”Boston has a proud association with international sailing and sailors. There has been great enthusiasm from everyone involved in making the Boston stopover happen. I fully expect that Boston will put on a tremendous show when the race comes to town,” he said.”It’s also a major fillip for the Volvo Ocean Race and the sport ofsailing to have involvement from an iconic global consumer brand such as PUMA,” he added.”There is definitely synergy between us – the Volvo Ocean Race leads the way on advanced design with the Volvo Open 70, while PUMA brings great energy and creativity to the design of their sports lifestyle products,” Bourke said.PUMA officials have worked closely with the local government in Boston to help bring the Volvo Ocean Race to the city. City of Boston Mayor, Thomas M. Menino said: “We are delighted that Boston has been selected as the only North American stopover for the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. “World Class events like this, with great partners like PUMA, Volvo and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay give folks from our neighbourhoods and visitors from across the region and around the world another reason to rediscover all that Boston Harbor and waterfront have to offer.”Two weeks of festivals and local events are planned during mid-May 2009, to celebrate the arrival and departure of the Volvo Ocean Race, Boston’s maritime history and the sport of sailing.A point-scoring in-port race will be held in Boston Harbour if the wind is in a favourable direction. Alternatively the race will be held just outside the harbour. A pro-am race, which takes place in every host port the day after the in-port race, will be held inside the harbour with racing close by to Fan Pier and Rowes Wharf. The pro-am race is not a points scoring race and does not have a set course enabling it to be tailored to suit each venue and making it a close-to-shore spectator event.Every boat in the Volvo fleet will take part, and will be sailed by half its normal race crew, with the remainder being made up of specially invited guests.At the ceremony in Boston, PUMA Racing Team unveiled its colours on the newly-painted training boat, the former ABN AMRO TWO. “This is a special day as we introduce our PUMA Racing Team and unveil the colours of our boat in this wonderful setting of BostonHarbor,” said Jochen Zeitz, CEO and Chairman, PUMA AG.The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this famous ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante, it will for the first time, take in ports in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, China and India. Spanning some 39,000 nautical miles, 8,000 more than the previous edition in 2005-06, it will stop at around 11 ports and take more than nine months to complete.For more about the race, click here.