At 05:54 GMT or 07:54 local time, Ericsson 4, skippered by Torben Grael, drifted across the finish line off Cape Town to win Leg One of the Volvo Ocean Race.
by Volvo media
Although the last miles were faster than first expected, the final couple of hundred metres were a challenge. With the finish line just hundreds of metres in the distance, the wind died, and Ericsson 4 was becalmed for a few minutes, before sniffing out a little zephyr of breeze to get across the line.
The leg victory is worth eight points, and this vaults Grael’s crew to the top of the leaderboard with 14 points.
On stepping ashore, Grael said: 'It’s really fantastic to be here. It was a great trip with lots of speed and I am very happy with what we have achieved. I think we had PUMA in sight for about 70 per cent of the race and I am very glad that we were ahead at the scoring gate and at the finish. It feels great to win.'
Navigator Jules Salter added, 'It’s really good to be here. It is always good to be in Cape Town. It was an eventful race; I really can’t remember most of it, but it feels really great to be in the lead from the very beginning.'
Behind Ericsson 4, PUMA is also tracking well for the finish, nearly 120 miles in arrears.
The battle still rages for third place, but emerging from StealthPlay, Ericsson 3 certainly looks to have the advantage over Green Dragon this morning. The Nordic crew is nearly 30 miles ahead of the Dragons, a number which wouldn’t seem like much in the middle of the leg but looms large with just over 300 miles to go.
There is one boat in StealthPlay this morning. Team Russia opted to ‘go dark’ beginning with the 04:00 position report. They won’t emerge until 13:00 today.
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6:53 AM Sun 2 Nov 2008 GMT
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