Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Ericsson 4 arrive into Sandhamn race victors. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Victoria Low
Ericsson Racing Team yacht Ericsson 4, skippered by Torben Grael of Brazil, has captured overall honors in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 on the penultimate leg.
Ericsson 4 placed third on the 525-nautical mile leg from Marstrand to Stockholm, and increased its total to 108 points. That gives the International crew a 13-point advantage with 12 points remaining in the race.
"We made a few errors on this leg, but we got what we wanted. So we're pretty happy," said Grael, 48, who becomes the first skipper to win the Volvo Ocean Race and Olympic gold . "We were very close when we got to Marstrand, but now it's done. It's finished. It's a fantastic feeling."
Ericsson 4 race towards Sandhamn. Image copyright Oskar Kihlborg/Ericsson Racing Team.
The International crew has shown great consistency aboard the yacht that was christened less than one year ago, June 26, 2008. Ericsson 4, from designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, has racked up five leg wins, two in-port wins and three scoring gate wins for 60 of its 102 points.
"I have to stress it's a total team effort," said watch captain and three-time race winner, Stu Bannatyne. "The whole thing started with Ericsson committing very early to doing this. We had good resources, committed early, got the right people and from there on all the right decisions were made."
Ericsson Racing Team
Volvo Ocean Race