Telefonica Blue crosses the finish line ahead of Puma and Ericsson 4 in the fog
Telefonica Blue has won leg four of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the finish line in the fog at 07:00 GMT (15:00 local time). With the win Skipper Bouwe Bekking and his team earn eight points, putting them on 41.5 points overall.
It was an instruments only landing for Bouwe Bekking, as the flags on the end of the Olympic harbour breakwater disappeared into the fog. It slowly rolled across the Central Business District on the other side of the bay, where only the tops of skyscrapers were visible. However, there was plenty of wind.
PUMA and Ericsson 4 finished second and third respectively. Puma crossed the line less than eighty minutes after race winners at 08:17 (16:17 local time). Ericsson 4 finished at 09:04 (17:04 local time) earning six more points – enough to maintain their position at the top of the pile with 45 points. Green Dragon is still racing, with 347 miles to go, and is anticipated to finish in fourth position on 31 January.
With just four miles to go till the finish, Bouwe Bekking and his crew enjoyed 11 knots of NE breeze as they came hammering towards the line. Earlier on Bekking had reported that they were becalmed for nearly half an hour with 30 miles left, until they were saved by the breeze:
“To make it even trickier a thick fog has rolled in – will this leg ever stop giving us a break? We saw on the radar that we passed two boats within a couple of boat-lengths and it makes me wonder if these other boats have a radar as well… So we are having a crewmember to leeward to keep his eyes open as well – 18 miles to go, and still breeze, over and out for this leg from me, I hope we pull it off!!!”