Ericsson 4, almost, wins the VOR 2008-9

In one of the closest finishes in the race to date, Ericsson 4 held off the recently resurgent PUMA and Green Dragon teams to win Leg 8, and claim their third consecutive leg win and fifth in the race so far. The victory puts Ericsson 4 in an all but unassailable position on the leaderboard.
photo credit: Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.
PUMA Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read (USA) finish second on leg 8 from Galway to Marstrand, crossing the line at 03:04:46 GMT 11/06/09

"We're very close to winning the race," admitted Ericsson 4 skipper Torben Grael. "But we're not there yet." His team now holds a 15-point lead with just three scoring opportunities left (for a maximum 20 points) before the finish in St. Petersburg. This may have been one of the shorter legs of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, but the intense sprint from Galway to Marstrand was no less testing for its short duration.
photo credit: Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.
Telefonica Blue, skippered by Bouwe Bekking (NED) finish fourth on leg 8 from Galway to Marstrand, crossing the line at 03:24:21 GMT 11/06/09

The leg threw a bit of everything at the crews, who were exhausted beyond all sensibility by the time they reached the finish off the small island of Marstrand. The battle for second place, between PUMA, who made a late pass, and Green Dragon, was particularly close (less than a minute separated the pair), as was the fight for fifth, where Delta Lloyd stole past Telefonica Black just metres before the finish line for a 19-second margin of victory.
credit: Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race. Arrival of the boars into Marstrand, first, Ericsson 4 , Puma, Green Dragon.
All seven teams finished within one hour and 19 minutes.
PUMA is on a roll after a disappointing performance in
their hometown in Boston. The team made some crew changes ahead of the leg
to Galway, and has since posted two second place finishes in the offshore legs, as well as their first win of the race at the Galway in-port race. Their finish position on this leg was particularly sweet as the team appeared to be in danger of finishing in last place 24 hours ago.
credit: Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race. Delta Lloyd, skippered by Roberto Bermudez (ESP) finish fifth on leg 8 from Galway to Marstrand, crossing the line at 03:38:12 GMT 11/06/09
Ericsson 4, almost, wins the VOR 2008-9 Ericsson 4, almost, wins the VOR 2008-9 Reviewed by Panos Douros on Thursday, June 11, 2009 Rating: 5

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