The VOR fourth leg prizegiving took place in Rio last night

In temperatures soaring over 30 degrees, the prizegiving for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race was held at the Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro, on the eve of the fifth leg of the race.

In a beautifully lit pavillion, Rio de Janeiro showed her international visitors just exactly what a real celebration should be like. A perfect backdrop for a prize giving, with palm trees swathed in red and gold light and the quiet water of the bay glinting under the moonlight.

Gary Jobson, USA broadcaster and sailing commentator, was the compere for the evening and the first award was the Sjoo Sandstrom Seamanship Award, presented by Fredrik Heijne, the president of Sjoo Sandstrom. This award is for the crewmember who has demonstrated outstanding seamanship in the most difficult of circumstances onboard and there were lots of nominations to choose from. Katie Pettibone from Amer Sports Too was the popular winner, chosen for her tireless work onboard and for the numerous occasions when she ensured that potentially dangerous situations were brought under control and did not become a major incident with serious damage to the crew or the boat.

Sjoo Sandstrom, the official time keeping sponsor of the Volvo Ocean Race also provides an award for the crew who achieved the best distance over a 24 hour period during the leg. This was collected by the illbruck crew who achieved a top mileage of 451.8 miles in 24 hours.

The team who generates the best overall media contribution for the leg is receives the plaque and cheque for 1,200 US dollars, from Wallenius Wilhemsen and this was presented by Jan-Evyin Wang, president of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines Americas. It was almost impossible to choose a winner, so good was all the material the crews sent back to Race HQ. It is hard to imagine what it must be like to battle with a camera when your body is aching and tired, trying to type messages when your fingers are numbed to the bone, doing a radio interview when you would rather crawl into your bunk and forget about it all for a few short hours. Ray Davies, from illbruck Challenge, was the winner, and was applauded for giving some insight into life onboard.

To be placed first, second or third in a leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, where the sailing is so close, is a true achievement, and one that is cherished in its own right, not only for the vital points earned towards the overall prize.

The Waterford Crystal trophy for third place was presented to Team Tyco by Fernando Alzuguir, sub-secretary of Tourism Rio de Janeiro. Djuice dragons collected their first Waterford Crystal from Mr Alzuguir, for finishing second.

After taking the lead just two days after the start from Auckland, a See-saw battle with both Amer Sports One and Tyco, illbruck fought back, retook the lead on 2 February and then held it for 18 days until the finish. Illbruck Challenge received the leg winner’s Waterford Crystal Trophy from Peter Karlsten, CEO of Volvo Do Brasil.