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Ericsson 4 wins Volvo Ocean Race

FIVE-TIME Olympic medalist Torben Grael of Brazil helmed Ericsson 4 to victory in the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race late on Monday.

Ericsson 4 finished the ninth leg of the 10-leg race in third place, good enough to clinch victory in the overall standings. Puma's il mostro, skippered by American Ken Read, won the ninth leg from Marstrand, Sweden, to Stockholm but sits 13 points behind with 12 points left to be awarded.

"We made a few errors on the leg, but we got what we wanted so we're pretty happy," Grael said. "We were very close in Marstrand, but now it's done. We can really enjoy it."

The nine-month, 67,600-kilometer race started in Alicante, Spain, in October and finishes in St Petersburg, Russia, this month after visiting South Africa, India, Singapore, China, Brazil, Boston, Ireland and Sweden. Points are awarded for arriving in a port first, for being the first to reach markers along the way and for in-port racing.

Puma's first-leg victory in the race gave it a nine-point lead over third-place Telefonica Blue, which ran aground on a rock outside Marstrand shortly after the start and expects to arrive in Stockholm in time for the in-port race on Sunday. Fourth-place Ericsson 3, with a largely Nordic crew skippered by Sweden's Magnus Olsson, finished Leg 9 just 90 seconds behind Puma.

"It was very close. That was enough tacks for a lifetime," Olsson said. "We wanted so badly to win and now Ken Read has destroyed my party.

"How mad do you think I am? From now on, I'm really going to pick on him," he joked.



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