Brazilian skipper leads Ericsson 4 to Volvo Ocean Race triumph

AFP Photo / Oliver Morin
The Volvo Ocean Race is due to finish in Saint Petersburg in a couple of weeks, but the winners are already known. Ericsson 4 have secured overall victory with a third-place finish in their home port of Stockholm.

It was Puma who won Leg 7 from Marstrand to the Swedish capital, but their maiden leg win was totally eclipsed by the local yacht.

With still one leg to go, Torben Grael's crew have been named the provisional winners.

After more than seven months at sea and with five leg wins to their name, they've stacked enough points to leave the rest of the fleet well behind.

"We had a goal for the campaign and we have reached the goal. It was hard. This is a very hard race and you have to work for what you want. We have worked hard and this is the result we have all put a lot of effort for. It feels very nice," Torben Grael said to the competition’s official website.

The Brazilian sailor, nicknamed the Turbine, has added the Volvo Ocean race success to his four Olympic medals, two of which are golds.

The only Russian yacht in the competition, Kosatka – which in English means ‘killer whale’ – retired from the race back in December 2008 due to financial problems.