/ Sailing

Ericsson 4 wins first leg of Volvo race

Updated: Monday, 03 Nov 2008 11:09

Ericsson 4 was the first of the seven boats to arrive in Cape Town
Ericsson 4 was the first of the seven boats to arrive in Cape Town

Sweden's Ericsson 4 won the first leg of the around the world Volvo Ocean Race, sailing into Cape Town harbour an estimated eight hours ahead of nearest competitor Puma.

The Ericsson 4, which became the fastest monohull yacht ever when it broke the world 24-hour distance record on Saturday, drifted toward Table Mountain with the wind dying down on approach before picking up slightly to whisk the yacht over the finish line at 5.54am Irish time.

The win gives the yacht eight points, putting it on top with 14 points accumulated so far in the Volvo Race, which is won by points and not by the fastest overall time.

Irish boat Green Dragon is in fourth place and has 200 miles left to sail until its reaches the finish line.

The Dragon is carrying damage and with the current weather forecast it is unlikely that they will be able to challenge Ericsson 3 to take third place.

Green Dragon skipper Ian Walker said: We are now moving okay, but still 10% slow due to whatever damage is under our boat.

'This should be enough to hold off Telefonica Blue who are 130 miles back but I am told you can never be sure of anything approaching Cape Town.'

Positions at 7am this morning:

1 Ericsson 4 (SWE)/Torben Grael (BRA) Arrived in Cape Town
2 Puma Ocean Racing (USA)/Ken Read (USA) 129 miles behind
3 Ericsson 3 (SWE)/Anders Lewander (SWE) 190
4 Green Dragon (IRL-CHN)/Ian Walker (ENG) 221
5 Telefonica Blue (ESP)/Bouwe Bekking (NED) 314
6 Delta Lloyd (NED)/Ger O'Rourke (IRL) 505
7 Telefonica Black (ESP)/Fernando Echavarri (ESP) 551