Ericsson 4 Wins The VOLVO Ocean Race, PUMA Wins Leg Nine

Tony CastaneiraAnalyst IJune 19, 2009

With a third place finish in leg nine, Ericsson 4 has clinched victory of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09.  The team now has a 13-point lead over PUMA, with just 12 points available in the rest of the race.

“We made a few errors on the leg, but we got what we wanted so we're pretty happy,” said Ericsson 4 skipper Torben Grael.  “We were very close in Marstrand, but now it's done. It's finished. We can really enjoy it.”

PUMA had reason to celebrate as well.  After a formidable fight with the crew of Stockholm-based Ericsson 3, whose crew wanted a win here in front of their home crowd more than anything; PUMA snatched victory on the finish line at the island of Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago, and claimed full points for Volvo Ocean Race leg nine. 

This was PUMA’s first leg victory in this 10-leg race, although they have done quite well during the in-port racing.  Their total score of 95 points strengthens their second place overall. 

“It feels fantastic and it's wonderful to be here in Stockholm. We feel a little sad to spoil Ericsson 3's homecoming, but it's a great win, and a hard-earned win,” said American skipper Kenny Read.

Ericsson 3, skippered by the hugely popular, Magnus Olsson, and winners of leg five, the longest leg of the race, had to settle for second place in Leg 9, bringing their overall score to 71.5 points.

“It was very close. That was enough tacks for a lifetime. 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,” joked skipper Swedish Magnus Olsson, when he stepped ashore.

Telefónica Blue, who is fighting PUMA for second place overall, had the awful misfortune of being grounded on a rock outside Marstrand shortly after the start. The crew expects to complete this leg and be in Stockholm in time to contest the in-port race on Sunday and thereby pile the pressure back on PUMA.

Fourth, fifth and six spots were filled by Telefónica Black, Green Dragon and Delta Lloyd. 

Leg Nine Finishing Order Stockholm
2. Ericsson 3
3. Ericsson 4
4. Telefónica Black
5. Green Dragon
6. Delta Lloyd
7. Telefónica Blue SUSPENDED RACING
8. Team Russia DNS

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 108 points
2. PUMA (Ken Read/USA):  95.0 points
3. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): SUSPENDED RACING 86.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 71.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 63.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 47.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 38.0 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points