Puma (puma.com) celebrated it’s move into yachting this week with the christening of its new racing boat by actress Salma Hayek. The boat, named Il Mostro will take place in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 kicking off this October.

The evening, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, included the ceremonial bottle of champagne across the Volvo Open 70s bow by Hayek, the boat’s ‘godmother’, and speeches by Chariman and CEO of PUMA, Jochen Zeitz, Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Bertone and PUMA Ocean Skipper Ken Read.

Earlier in the day Sportswear International joined other members of the press to learn the details of the race and the exciting apparel line that PUMA has introduced in tandem with the venture: the PUMA Sailing collection, which includes lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, as well as high-performance sailing gear fit for the professionals.

The boat, which took 14 months to develop and then build, is designed to resemble a virtual 3-D “flying shoe,” inspired by the PUMA shoe style from where its name is derived. It will be manned by a hand-picked crew who will take the vessel around the world in the 10-month race, which kicks off in Spain and includes stop-offs in Singapore, Ireland and Rio, and concludes in St Petersburg, Russia.

Photo: Salma Hayek christens the Il Mostro , PUMA’s new boat