Puma and Telefonica Blue took a first place each in Stockholm, but the overall positions remain the same
After an extremely disappointing leg nine, which saw second overall in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 slip away when Telefónica Blue ran aground and had to return to Marstrand for emergency repairs, Bouwe Bekking and his men made a remarkable comeback today, to snatch the in-port race in Stockholm from nearest rival PUMA. Telefónica Black was third.
The rocks and islands surrounding the course set today for the final of the in-port race series in the Volvo Ocean Race were black with thousands of spectators, while out on the water, in the Stockholm Archipelago, spectator boats lined both sides of the course and masts could be seen as far as the eye could see. The well-behaved spectator fleet was expertly marshalled by the Swedish Navy. It was the perfect day for racing.
As the breeze built to nine knots for the first of two races, the fleet of seven Volvo Open 70s, sailing with plenty of heel and producing foaming white water from their bows made a clean start, led by Delta Lloyd.
The two local boats, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, fought for the pin end of the line and chose the far left of the course. After a slightly sticky start, PUMA, followed Green Dragon out to opposite side of the course, where she gained clean air and took a lead, which she held on to until the end of the race. Ericsson 3, using their expertise in the lake-like sailing conditions, which are their home waters, was a consistent second.
Telefónica Blue, who was last on the first beat, made a terrific comeback and climbed steadily up through order to take third, which, coincidentally, was the same top three finishing order as the second of the Galway in-port races. So close were the next two boats, it was difficult to call the finish, however Ericsson 4 eventually beat Telefónica Black by a short head (one second) to take fourth, while Green Dragon was sixth, and, after a very promising start, Delta Lloyd completed the line up in seventh place.
It was in race two that the outcome for the day was decided as the breeze increased to 12 – 14 knots and a fog bank started to roll in across the course.
Telefónica Blue put in her usual polished performance and led the fleet from start to finish. Telefónica Black, with syndicate head, Pedro Campos at the helm, sailed a perfect race and spoilt the show for PUMA by finishing second in race two, a result which prevented PUMA from claiming overall victory today. With a third and a first for Telefónica Blue and a first and a third for PUMA today, the tie was broken in favour of the results in the second race, which left Telefónica Blue as the clear winner, from PUMA and Telefónica Black.
It has been an exceptional day of racing and although the order on the overall leaderboard remains unchanged, Telefónica Blue has crept a little closer to second place overall, and is now six points behind PUMA, with one more leg of the race still to come.
Race One Stockholm In-Port Race Finish Position
2. Ericsson 3
3. Telefónica Blue
4. Ericsson 4
5. Telefónica Black
6. Green Dragon
7. Delta Lloyd
Race Two Stockholm In-port Race Finish Position
1. Telefónica Blue
2. Telefónica Black
4. Ericsson 4
5. Delta Lloyd
6. Ericsson 3
7. Green Dragon
Stockholm In-Port Race Results (Provisional)
1. Telefónica Blue 4.0 points
2. PUMA 3.5 points
3. Telefónica Black 3.0 points
4. Ericsson 4 2.5 points
5. Ericsson 3 2.0 points
6. Delta Lloyd 1.5 points
7. Green Dragon 1.0 points
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 110.5 points
2. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 98.5 points
3. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 92.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 73.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 64.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 50.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 39.5 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points