Ericsson 4 team leads the Volvo Ocean Race

November 30th, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi (Kerala), Nov 30 (IANS) The Ericsson 4 team led by Torben Grael from Brazil Sunday won the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, making it two wins in a row, an official said.The Ericsson 4 touched the finishing line here at 4.22 a.m. on the completion of the second round.

The 4,450 nautical mile leg started from Cape Town in South Africa Nov 15 and the Ericsson 4 team took 14 days, 11 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds to complete it.

With this win, the team leads the pack of eight teams with an overall score of 26 points.

Grael told reporters that he was very happy to be here.

“The trip had a lot of very difficult conditions. We had many breakdowns, but we got to the gate in a good position and of course, we are very happy to be here in first place after a few hard days,” said Grael.

The Volvo Ocean Race, which is also called the Everest of Sailing, is one of the most demanding and daring team sporting events held every four years. The 2008 edition has 11 ocean legs, seven in-shore races and Cochin Port is the only destination chosen in India.

The race began in Alicante in Spain Oct 4 and will cover a total of 39,325 nautical miles over nine months and end in July 2009 at St. Petersburg, Russia.

“The speed of the boat depends on the wind. Even though this (Ericsson 4) team reached the Kerala waters quite early, they could approach to the finishing line only today (Sunday) early morning because of the wind conditions. The next team is expected later in the day,” said an official of the Cochin Port Trust.

The Kerala tourism department and Cochin Port Trust (CPT) have spent Rs.300 million for the arrangements. State Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan Sunday opened the race village in Willingdon Island here.

The organisers were taken by surprise by the arrival of the team as according to their schedule, the first of the eight boats was to arrive Dec 3.

Following the Mumbai terror attacks, the only worry for the organisers was whether the nearly 5,000 rooms in and around this town will get filled up by race enthusiasts.

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