After nine months and 40,000 miles the latest edition of the Volvo Ocean Race comes to a close

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008/9 has come to a close. Spectators have seen some hard racing, close finishes, crews hired and fired, acts of bravery and sportsmanship, and some world records.

The prizegiving on Sunday evening included the inaugaral awarding of the Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy. The award was created in memory of Hans, who was lost at sea during the last edition of the race. (The Dutchman was washed over the side of ABN Amro Two on the transatlantic leg.) Hans had played a key role in ABN Amro’s unique and ambitious project to help young talent break into the top level of offshore sailing.

The award was created to recognise a rookie sailor who was younger than 30 when the event commenced. The winner was Michi Mueller from Puma Ocean Racing, whom skipper Ken Read said had grown from a raw, untested rookie, into a linch-pin of the team.

It was a good night for Puma as the Inmarsat Media Prize went to Rick Deppe, who was recognised for his outstanding work across the entire race. Deppe won the prize for leg 10 (his fourth win), as well as the overall prize.

Presenting the prize, Perry Melton, COO Inmarsat, said: “The Volvo Ocean Race selected Fleet Broadband before its launch. They have described its global performance as flawless. We are delighted that the innovation of media crew members was paired with our newest service to deliver media coverage from the harshest of maritime conditions.”

The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award was given to the Puma Ocean Racing shore crew (Neil Cox, Sean Healey, Will Oxley and Kimo Worthington) for rending assistance to Telefonica Blue, after they ran aground at the start of Leg 9 in Marstrand.

And finally, the sailing teams were celebrated. All eight were recognised for their achievements while Ericsson 4 (pictured), the winner of the race, was presented with the ‘Fighting Finish’ trophy by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, patron of the Volvo Ocean Race; a just reward for a team that has dominated the competition, securing the overall title in Stockholm, with one in-port race, and one offshore leg to spare.

Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 Prizes

Best 24-hour run – Ericsson 4, 596.6 nautical miles
Hans Horrevoets Rookie Trophy – Michi Mueller, Puma Ocean Racing
Inmarsat Media Prize – Rick Deppe, Puma Ocean Racing
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award – Puma Ocean Racing shore crew
Volvo Ocean Race, 3rd place – Telefonica Blue
Volvo Ocean Race, 2nd place – Puma Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race, 1st place – Ericsson 4