Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ericsson 4 wins Leg 1 Volvo Ocean Race

"The Holly Grael" skipper Torben Grael all smiles!

Great White Shark fin? Bottom right corner... Click on image to enlarge!

602 miles in 24hrs!

Photos by Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race
Retox and rehab
By Riath Al-Samarrai

The dockside champagne has dried up and their nearest rival is still more than a 100 miles away, but Ericsson 4 skipper Torben Grael was in no mood for brash statements after winning the first leg on Sunday morning.

“Is this race over?” he asked. “No chance whatsoever. It is impossible to say who will win at this stage.”

It flies in the face of the stat which shows that the winner of the first leg in the last five races has gone on to win overall.

“It was such a close race,” he added. “Our speeds between the boats are so close. We had visual contact with PUMA for maybe 70% of the race, maybe 80% - this race will go to the wire.”

The early scores would seem to support that. The in-port races were won by Telefonica Blue, the scoring gate claimed by Green Dragon and the first line honours now belong to Ericsson 4. In all, it has left Grael’s crew top of the leaderboard on 14 points, but PUMA will trail by just one point if they arrive second in Cape Town. Read more