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delta loydEricssongreen dragonphotoPuma Racingteam russiatelefonicaVOR 70

First Leg Win For Telefonica Black in Volvo Ocean Race Finale

It was an historic moment tonight in St Petersburg, Russia, when as the White Night turned to dawn the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, led by Telefonica Black in a thrilling climax, crossed the tenth and final finish line of this nine-month, 37,000 nm race around the world.
Spanish skipper, Fernando Echavarri said, "It's a prize for all the crew and all the shore crew. We have been trying to do it in all the legs but couldn't; this was our last chance. We had a nice battle with PUMA in the last 100 miles. We are really happy.
Victory for Telefonica Black was hard-fought and a match race developed with PUMA, who had led the fleet for the majority of this 400-mile sprint from Stockholm. At just after midnight GMT and while on the additional triangle added to lengthen the course, Telefonica Black gained a small advantage, which translated into a two and a half boat length win, denying PUMA a second leg win in a row. However, with a total of 105.5 points, PUMA takes second place overall.
PUMA skipper Kenny Read said: "Congratulations to all those guys, they have worked very hard for their first leg win. We will take our second and our second overall. You know what? We just sailed around the world. I guess I said a thousand times that we know no other way but to make it hard for ourselves. It's a shame, because we usually win these close battles and today we didn't.
"The big picture is we finished this race, everyone is safe and the boat has been spectacular. We flew the flag well for Volvo and I think we flew the flag well for PUMA. We have everything to be proud of. Relief is the right word. Right now, it is relief and, as always, we are a pretty tired group onboard. Let the celebrations begin because all the group deserves it."
Telefonica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED) filled the third spot both on leg 10 and overall, to close the team's account on 98 points.
Fourth place finishers tonight and fourth overall with 78.5 points was Ericsson 3 and Swedish skipper, Magnus Olsson was exhausted. "I feel so tired I cannot say anything! Everybody is happy because they have sailed around the world, but they are also very tired. After a day or two we can say more intelligent things. You always want to do well in every leg, but this was special because it was the short one and the last one. We were up there so we are happy, but we couldn't keep up until the finish. They beat us fair and square."
Runaway overall leaders, with a final tally of 114.5 points and nine points clear of PUMA, Torben Grael and his 10 crew of Ericsson 4 finished this leg in fifth place.
Green Dragon kept her slender lead over Delta Lloyd to finish the leg in sixth place, and fifth overall with 67 points.
To conclude the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, Delta Lloyd, the only generation one Volvo Open 70 to compete in the race, finished shortly after Green Dragon to finish the race on a total of 41.5 points.
Leg Ten Finishing Order St Petersburg
1. Telefonica Black
3. Telefonica Blue
4. Ericsson 3
5. Ericsson 4
6. Green Dragon
7. Delta Lloyd

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