Runaway overall leaders, with a final tally of 114.5 points and nine points clear of PUMA, Torben GRAEL (BRA) and his 10 crew of Ericsson 4 finished this leg in fifth place. In an interview with Guy SWINDELLS, skipper GRAEL, who raced every offshore leg with the same crew, was reflective in his comments as overall victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 finally became a reality.
“I think it is a mixed feeling because we know this is the end of the story for the project. It’s a funny feeling because some of these guys you have never met before and you become like brothers. Now we go our own ways and it’s a strange feeling.
“On the other hand it has been a long race. It was a very long race around the world. We are completely drained and tired so I think everyone is looking forward to a nice rest. We have had a wonderful time. We enjoyed our training time in Lanzarote and the race as well. We have had our ups and downs, but it has been fun. After we won, it was a bit of a relaxing leg. It has been so intense and so consuming so I think it is normal that after you achieve your goals you relax. I am very glad for TelefÃ³nica Black and Fernando and his guys for winning this last leg.”
Volvo Ocean Race ends on a high note
After 37,000 nautical miles and nine months, competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race crossed the final finish line in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Telefonica Black, which so far had yet to win a leg of the race, was first over the line, narrowly denying the win to PUMA. Ericsson 4 remains the overall winner, having cemented a commanding lead at the end of the eighth leg.
From ISAF’s Sailing.org: