"A" boat was coming. That much was known. The keel and mast arrived at the Port of Oswego Authority more than a month ago and word got around.
But no one knew "what" boat - and even the hundred-foot carbon fiber mast and fourteen-foot 16,300 pound bulb keel didn't really prepare locals for the real thing.
A genuine Volvo Open 70 - diguised as a sneaker: Puma, 2009.
Yes, more than a few famous boats have visited Oswego. There’s a bit of history to be had here. Due to its location at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, Oswego was the first U.S. port on the Great Lakes, and as such stood at the center of shipbuilding on the lakes well into the nineteenth century.
Times have changed. Shipbuilding no longer happens, but the city is still there. These days, by promoting its harbor, fabulous fishery, and hosting prestigious sailing events such as the 2012 LYRA Regatta, Oswego's waterfront people are making a different kind of history.
Today, June 1, 2012, a new page was turned as Puma, which circumnavigated the globe during the Volvo sponsored 2008-2009 Around the World Race, was reconnected to its keel and lowered into the Oswego River - tasting fresh water for the first time and at the same time becoming the most notable vessel to visit Oswego in recent memory.
Puma’s reported destination is the Chicago Yacht Club’s 104th annual Mackinac Race, which begins July 21. Reportedly, and weather permitting, the team hopes to set the mast and sail off Oswego a few times to evaluate the running rig before heading west for the Welland Canal, Lake Erie and eventually Chicago.