Archive | Puma Racing Team

PUMA takes early lead in last leg of 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 25 June 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] PUMA, who is now assured second place overall, led the Volvo fleet out of Sandhamn, on the outer edge of the Stockholm archipelago today – a spectacular day where conditions were perfect for the start of the tenth and final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 to St Petersburg in Russia.

Sailing confidently in 10 -12 knots of breeze, PUMA, Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4 were the front runners off the start line and a huge spectator crowd needed no excuse to get out on the water and watch what these ocean greyhounds do best. A steady breeze and flat water ensured plenty of white water spilled from the bows as the boats started a leg for the last time, fully powered up and under a cloudless sky.

Start of Volvo Ocean Race leg 10. Stockholm, 25 June 2009. Photo copyright Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race

Leading round both buoys marking the traditional ‘sausage’ before heading to out to sea, the crew of PUMA had set the black boat up perfectly and extended their lead, while behind, Bouwe Bekking’s bowmen wrestled with their heavy code zero sail, which had remained furled and unused on the bow and was slowing the blue boat down. Green Dragon scorched past overall race winner Ericsson 4, who had the pressure put on by sister ship Ericsson 3, while Telefónica Black and Delta Lloyd were in the second string.

Team Russia joined the pack once the racing fleet had completed the inshore loop, to sail, but not to race, homewards to St Petersburg, with owner Oleg Zherebtsov working the bow as he did in the earlier legs of the race.

Although speeds were good as the fleet left Sweden behind, the leg is expected to be predominantly upwind to Russia and race rules allow for Race Director, Jack Lloyd, to shorten the 400-mile course if necessary. The fleet must arrive in St Petersburg on Saturday morning in order to clear customs and pass through two bridges, which will be raised specially in order to let the fleet into the historic city.

PUMA has now clinched second place overall, their performance improving hugely in the second half of the race. Telefónica Blue will take third after losing the battle for second when they finished last in leg nine after going aground in Marstrand, while Ericsson 4 is the runaway leader, winning the race with a leg to spare.

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PUMA takes early lead in last leg of 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 25 June 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] PUMA, who is now assured second place overall, led the Volvo fleet out of Sandhamn, on the outer edge of the Stockholm archipelago today – a spectacular day where conditions were perfect for the start of the tenth and final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 to St Petersburg in Russia.

Sailing confidently in 10 -12 knots of breeze, PUMA, Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4 were the front runners off the start line and a huge spectator crowd needed no excuse to get out on the water and watch what these ocean greyhounds do best. A steady breeze and flat water ensured plenty of white water spilled from the bows as the boats started a leg for the last time, fully powered up and under a cloudless sky.

Start of Volvo Ocean Race leg 10. Stockholm, 25 June 2009. Photo copyright Rick Tomlinson / Volvo Ocean Race

Leading round both buoys marking the traditional ‘sausage’ before heading to out to sea, the crew of PUMA had set the black boat up perfectly and extended their lead, while behind, Bouwe Bekking’s bowmen wrestled with their heavy code zero sail, which had remained furled and unused on the bow and was slowing the blue boat down. Green Dragon scorched past overall race winner Ericsson 4, who had the pressure put on by sister ship Ericsson 3, while Telefónica Black and Delta Lloyd were in the second string.

Team Russia joined the pack once the racing fleet had completed the inshore loop, to sail, but not to race, homewards to St Petersburg, with owner Oleg Zherebtsov working the bow as he did in the earlier legs of the race.

Although speeds were good as the fleet left Sweden behind, the leg is expected to be predominantly upwind to Russia and race rules allow for Race Director, Jack Lloyd, to shorten the 400-mile course if necessary. The fleet must arrive in St Petersburg on Saturday morning in order to clear customs and pass through two bridges, which will be raised specially in order to let the fleet into the historic city.

PUMA has now clinched second place overall, their performance improving hugely in the second half of the race. Telefónica Blue will take third after losing the battle for second when they finished last in leg nine after going aground in Marstrand, while Ericsson 4 is the runaway leader, winning the race with a leg to spare.

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Puma overall winner in Galway in-port races

Posted on 30 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] PUMA won the in-port race series in Galway today after two thrilling races were held on Galway Bay. This is the first time that PUMA has been on top of the podium for the Volvo Ocean Race and it brings her closer to second place in the overall standings. Telefónica Blue, second today, maintains second place overall, but only by one point and Ericsson 4’s slightly disappointing performance shaves her overall lead from 14.5 points to 13 points.

In race one, Team Telefónica clearly dominated in what started out as perfect conditions, with blue skies and a building breeze. While local heroes, Green Dragon, opted for a committee-boat start followed by Delta Lloyd, Athens Olympic Gold Medallist Iker Martinez (49-er) quickly steered Telefónica Blue to the left of the course and into a clear lead, which he held until the finish gun. Telefónica Black, with America’s Cup helmsman and syndicate head Pedro Campos in charge, made it a one-two for the Spanish team in conditions that clearly suited the two Farr Yacht Design boats.

PUMA put in a good performance to take third, from Ericsson 4, just as the wind began to die and seriously shift. A big cloudbank swept across the racecourse sucking the breeze with it and causing a headache for the race committee who had to reposition the windward and leeward marks several times during the course of the race.

Ericsson 3, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon all had their problems during the race and found themselves trailing the leaders on the procession to the finish line after the windshift.

After a short postponement, race two got underway and the clouds parted to allow the blue sky and sun to shine through. A new westerly breeze of around 10 knots meant a new course was set, slightly closer to the shore.

Delta Lloyd made a blinding start at the pin end of the start line and led the fleet early. Telefónica Black was on course side and had to dip back behind the line and re-start, but made quick recovery. Green Dragon tacked, dipping behind the whole fleet and headed out to the right hand of the course.

Good work from Kenny Read and his men onboard PUMA meant they rounded the first mark in the lead from Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4. The order at the front of the fleet remained unchanged at end of the first downwind leg, while, further back, Telefónica Black overtook Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon, who was struggling in the lighter conditions.

On the second beat, Telefónica Black came right back into contention and followed Telefónica Blue through the mid course gate to the right hand side of the course. Green Dragon also chose the right hand side, nearest the beach.

The fleet converged on the windward mark for the last time with PUMA leading the fleet safely round. Second place was very close with Ericsson 3 coming in from the left hand side and the two Telefónica boats approaching from the right. Ericsson 3 got the better of the two Spanish boats and rose up through the fleet from fourth place to round the mark in second place, from Telefónica Blue, Ericsson 4 and Telefónica Black.

On the final spinnaker leg, PUMA remained in control to complete the second race in first place, confirming her win today on a tiebreak, which takes the results of the second race as the decider. Ericsson 3 remained in second place and Telefónica Blue finished third in front of Telefónica Black.

Overall, it was a team affair, with PUMA taking maximum points today, followed by Telefónica Blue and Telefónica Black, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon.

The final in-port race will be held in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 June, and leg eight from Galway to Marstrand, Sweden will start at 1300 local time (1200 GMT) next Saturday.

Galway In-Port Race Results (Provisional)
1. PUMA: 4.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue: 3.5 points
3. Telefónica Black: 3.0 points
4. Ericsson 3: 2.5 points
5. Ericsson 4 : 2.0 points
6. Delta Lloyd: 1.5 points
7. Green Dragon: 1.0 points

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 94.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 81.0 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 80.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 62.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 53.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 39.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 31.0 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points

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Puma overall winner in Galway in-port races

Posted on 30 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] PUMA won the in-port race series in Galway today after two thrilling races were held on Galway Bay. This is the first time that PUMA has been on top of the podium for the Volvo Ocean Race and it brings her closer to second place in the overall standings. Telefónica Blue, second today, maintains second place overall, but only by one point and Ericsson 4’s slightly disappointing performance shaves her overall lead from 14.5 points to 13 points.

In race one, Team Telefónica clearly dominated in what started out as perfect conditions, with blue skies and a building breeze. While local heroes, Green Dragon, opted for a committee-boat start followed by Delta Lloyd, Athens Olympic Gold Medallist Iker Martinez (49-er) quickly steered Telefónica Blue to the left of the course and into a clear lead, which he held until the finish gun. Telefónica Black, with America’s Cup helmsman and syndicate head Pedro Campos in charge, made it a one-two for the Spanish team in conditions that clearly suited the two Farr Yacht Design boats.

PUMA put in a good performance to take third, from Ericsson 4, just as the wind began to die and seriously shift. A big cloudbank swept across the racecourse sucking the breeze with it and causing a headache for the race committee who had to reposition the windward and leeward marks several times during the course of the race.

Ericsson 3, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon all had their problems during the race and found themselves trailing the leaders on the procession to the finish line after the windshift.

After a short postponement, race two got underway and the clouds parted to allow the blue sky and sun to shine through. A new westerly breeze of around 10 knots meant a new course was set, slightly closer to the shore.

Delta Lloyd made a blinding start at the pin end of the start line and led the fleet early. Telefónica Black was on course side and had to dip back behind the line and re-start, but made quick recovery. Green Dragon tacked, dipping behind the whole fleet and headed out to the right hand of the course.

Good work from Kenny Read and his men onboard PUMA meant they rounded the first mark in the lead from Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4. The order at the front of the fleet remained unchanged at end of the first downwind leg, while, further back, Telefónica Black overtook Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon, who was struggling in the lighter conditions.

On the second beat, Telefónica Black came right back into contention and followed Telefónica Blue through the mid course gate to the right hand side of the course. Green Dragon also chose the right hand side, nearest the beach.

The fleet converged on the windward mark for the last time with PUMA leading the fleet safely round. Second place was very close with Ericsson 3 coming in from the left hand side and the two Telefónica boats approaching from the right. Ericsson 3 got the better of the two Spanish boats and rose up through the fleet from fourth place to round the mark in second place, from Telefónica Blue, Ericsson 4 and Telefónica Black.

On the final spinnaker leg, PUMA remained in control to complete the second race in first place, confirming her win today on a tiebreak, which takes the results of the second race as the decider. Ericsson 3 remained in second place and Telefónica Blue finished third in front of Telefónica Black.

Overall, it was a team affair, with PUMA taking maximum points today, followed by Telefónica Blue and Telefónica Black, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon.

The final in-port race will be held in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 June, and leg eight from Galway to Marstrand, Sweden will start at 1300 local time (1200 GMT) next Saturday.

Galway In-Port Race Results (Provisional)
1. PUMA: 4.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue: 3.5 points
3. Telefónica Black: 3.0 points
4. Ericsson 3: 2.5 points
5. Ericsson 4 : 2.0 points
6. Delta Lloyd: 1.5 points
7. Green Dragon: 1.0 points

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 94.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 81.0 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 80.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 62.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 53.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 39.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 31.0 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points

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PUMA holds slight lead in 5th leg of Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 02 March 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Kenny Read, PUMA Skipper] I have good news and bad news. The good news first as I have to try really hard to be an eternal optimist in times like these. We took the lead again today and have E3 and E4 in our sights- literally. After over 5000 miles of sailing we crossed E4 by about a mile late this afternoon. They jibed a few times- we continued and got out to a three or so mile lead on them.

All good right? Well, not really- at least for the il mostro team. The bad news is that we are constantly sailing the torturous path of leading the pack into lighter air. We are lighter and lifted compared to the rest of the group sched after sched, watching any lead evaporate slowly but surely. Soon we will have a five way drag race to the New Zealand scoring gate. I guess I shouldn’t complain much because E4 has seen a couple leads evaporate on the leg as well due to similar circumstances. What goes around comes around…or something like that.

PUMA holds slight lead in 5th leg of Volvo Ocean Race. Pacific Ocean, 2 March 2009. Video copyright PUMA Ocean Racing

Life aboard really doesn’t have much to report. Complaints about food, dreams of ice cream and Kirby stories fill up the day. I actually heard two new stories today that I hadn’t heard before of a young Jerry. It was an unbelievable moment in my life. He had me almost crying I was laughing so hard. I look forward to meeting a couple of his college buddies to validate these particular tales some day. My guess is that it was about 50 percent fact and 50 percent fiction. Really doesn’t matter at this point.

Justin had out the sewing machine for a few sail touch ups and was called into duty for a few take ins on the waist of some of our shorts. I was sitting next to him and was watching him take up about an inch out of mine, he then try to sew one of the pant legs shut only to run out of bobbin. WHEW! Kirby wasn’t so lucky. His shorts were turned inside out before sewing the left pant leg completely shut- hiding the mischievous deed. Right leg in, left leg didn’t quite make it. Hopping around the deck trying to figure out what happened- like getting short sheeted only with Ricky’s camera in full swing getting the entire sequence on video. Probably not as funny if you weren’t there, but it was very amusing at the time for those of us involved.

As we approach the halfway point of this leg all aboard is in relatively good shape. Casey and Salty are constantly doing little jobs and the list is down to a few mundane items. That bodes well anticipating the next ten days of much harder sailing. We have had a dream run of down the Pacific and that should come to a screeching halt in about 10 hours. Turn the fire hose back on for some windy close reaching again.

The scoring gate will mark the end to the first part of the leg and the incredible chess match that has ensued. It is anybody’s to take right now. Time will only tell.

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PUMA holds slight lead in 5th leg of Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 02 March 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Kenny Read, PUMA Skipper] I have good news and bad news. The good news first as I have to try really hard to be an eternal optimist in times like these. We took the lead again today and have E3 and E4 in our sights- literally. After over 5000 miles of sailing we crossed E4 by about a mile late this afternoon. They jibed a few times- we continued and got out to a three or so mile lead on them.

All good right? Well, not really- at least for the il mostro team. The bad news is that we are constantly sailing the torturous path of leading the pack into lighter air. We are lighter and lifted compared to the rest of the group sched after sched, watching any lead evaporate slowly but surely. Soon we will have a five way drag race to the New Zealand scoring gate. I guess I shouldn’t complain much because E4 has seen a couple leads evaporate on the leg as well due to similar circumstances. What goes around comes around…or something like that.

PUMA holds slight lead in 5th leg of Volvo Ocean Race. Pacific Ocean, 2 March 2009. Video copyright PUMA Ocean Racing

Life aboard really doesn’t have much to report. Complaints about food, dreams of ice cream and Kirby stories fill up the day. I actually heard two new stories today that I hadn’t heard before of a young Jerry. It was an unbelievable moment in my life. He had me almost crying I was laughing so hard. I look forward to meeting a couple of his college buddies to validate these particular tales some day. My guess is that it was about 50 percent fact and 50 percent fiction. Really doesn’t matter at this point.

Justin had out the sewing machine for a few sail touch ups and was called into duty for a few take ins on the waist of some of our shorts. I was sitting next to him and was watching him take up about an inch out of mine, he then try to sew one of the pant legs shut only to run out of bobbin. WHEW! Kirby wasn’t so lucky. His shorts were turned inside out before sewing the left pant leg completely shut- hiding the mischievous deed. Right leg in, left leg didn’t quite make it. Hopping around the deck trying to figure out what happened- like getting short sheeted only with Ricky’s camera in full swing getting the entire sequence on video. Probably not as funny if you weren’t there, but it was very amusing at the time for those of us involved.

As we approach the halfway point of this leg all aboard is in relatively good shape. Casey and Salty are constantly doing little jobs and the list is down to a few mundane items. That bodes well anticipating the next ten days of much harder sailing. We have had a dream run of down the Pacific and that should come to a screeching halt in about 10 hours. Turn the fire hose back on for some windy close reaching again.

The scoring gate will mark the end to the first part of the leg and the incredible chess match that has ensued. It is anybody’s to take right now. Time will only tell.

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It’s a flat out drag race for the Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 18 February 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] Fast, warm reaching is on offer today for the five-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet as it races on through the Pacific Ocean on leg five, the longest leg of the course at 12,300 nm.

Ken Read is delighted that PUMA is able to keep in touch with race leader Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/USA), who is known to excel in fast reaching conditions. PUMA is only four miles behind Ericsson 4, making up four miles in the last 24-hours, and the pair is beginning to open up a substantial lead over the chasing three.

Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE) is a safe 142 nm astern of Ericsson 4. Although they have added 63 nm to their deficit since 1300 GMT yesterday, it is still good enough for third place. In spite of the loss of miles to the leader, the atmosphere onboard is one of high spirits, as the team presses the boat as hard as they can. The wind has been shifty and Gustav Morin MCM reports that it has been difficult to keep good speed and make the right choice of sails. “We have between 10 – 20 knots of wind and the angle has constantly been going back and forth from 30 to 55 degrees,” he said.

Chris Bedford, Ericsson Team meteorologist, talks about the current weather situation. Video copyright Ericsson Racing Team

The two new crewmembers onboard Ericsson 3, Norwegian Arve Roaas and Sweden’s Magnus Woxen are blending well with the old crew and are enjoying racing the latest generation of Volvo Open 70. They are beginning to feel more comfortable about housekeeping rules such as knowing where to put their boots and socks while sleeping, and how to fit into a sleeping bag and climb up into a bunk, which has only 20cm headroom.

For Ian Walker’s Green Dragon, it has been a tough 24-hours and the team has paid a high price for its northerly position. They are now 207 nm adrift of the leading pair losing a further 82 nm in the past 24-hours. “We didn’t mean to be quite so far north, but we had a long period of light and lifted winds two days ago, that ushered us north,” explained Ian Walker. He said that the crew was very philosophical about the miles lost and that his team’s game plan of sailing, what they believe is the right way irrespective of other boats, will not change.

Late starter, Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED) still has plenty of catching up to do. “We are slowly coming into better breeze, so we may be able to stop the bleeding soon, but we still aren’t seeing any major passing lanes,” explained navigator Tom Addis.

Although the last few days of sailing may not have offered an opportunity for tactical decisions, at least the miles are clicking down. The wind will steadily head the fleet, which will slowly curve down to the south to pick up the southeast trade winds. Onboard PUMA, the goal is to meet up with the trade winds far enough to the east to prevent the boat from being hard on the wind. They will also try to position themselves to the east of some light air near the doldrums.

As the temperatures rise, shoes are being swapped for boots, thermals for shorts; and sun cream and sunglasses are making their first appearance. Life onboard the racing yachts has settled down after the first bumpy 36-hours. Speeds hover between the 16 – 18 knot mark and the fastest 24-hour run belongs to PUMA at 442 nm, although Ericsson 4 has recorded a maximum boat speed of 26 knots.

Leg Five Day Five: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTF 10886 nm
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +4
Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +142
Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +207
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +284

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It’s a flat out drag race for the Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 18 February 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] Fast, warm reaching is on offer today for the five-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet as it races on through the Pacific Ocean on leg five, the longest leg of the course at 12,300 nm.

Ken Read is delighted that PUMA is able to keep in touch with race leader Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/USA), who is known to excel in fast reaching conditions. PUMA is only four miles behind Ericsson 4, making up four miles in the last 24-hours, and the pair is beginning to open up a substantial lead over the chasing three.

Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE) is a safe 142 nm astern of Ericsson 4. Although they have added 63 nm to their deficit since 1300 GMT yesterday, it is still good enough for third place. In spite of the loss of miles to the leader, the atmosphere onboard is one of high spirits, as the team presses the boat as hard as they can. The wind has been shifty and Gustav Morin MCM reports that it has been difficult to keep good speed and make the right choice of sails. “We have between 10 – 20 knots of wind and the angle has constantly been going back and forth from 30 to 55 degrees,” he said.

Chris Bedford, Ericsson Team meteorologist, talks about the current weather situation. Video copyright Ericsson Racing Team

The two new crewmembers onboard Ericsson 3, Norwegian Arve Roaas and Sweden’s Magnus Woxen are blending well with the old crew and are enjoying racing the latest generation of Volvo Open 70. They are beginning to feel more comfortable about housekeeping rules such as knowing where to put their boots and socks while sleeping, and how to fit into a sleeping bag and climb up into a bunk, which has only 20cm headroom.

For Ian Walker’s Green Dragon, it has been a tough 24-hours and the team has paid a high price for its northerly position. They are now 207 nm adrift of the leading pair losing a further 82 nm in the past 24-hours. “We didn’t mean to be quite so far north, but we had a long period of light and lifted winds two days ago, that ushered us north,” explained Ian Walker. He said that the crew was very philosophical about the miles lost and that his team’s game plan of sailing, what they believe is the right way irrespective of other boats, will not change.

Late starter, Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED) still has plenty of catching up to do. “We are slowly coming into better breeze, so we may be able to stop the bleeding soon, but we still aren’t seeing any major passing lanes,” explained navigator Tom Addis.

Although the last few days of sailing may not have offered an opportunity for tactical decisions, at least the miles are clicking down. The wind will steadily head the fleet, which will slowly curve down to the south to pick up the southeast trade winds. Onboard PUMA, the goal is to meet up with the trade winds far enough to the east to prevent the boat from being hard on the wind. They will also try to position themselves to the east of some light air near the doldrums.

As the temperatures rise, shoes are being swapped for boots, thermals for shorts; and sun cream and sunglasses are making their first appearance. Life onboard the racing yachts has settled down after the first bumpy 36-hours. Speeds hover between the 16 – 18 knot mark and the fastest 24-hour run belongs to PUMA at 442 nm, although Ericsson 4 has recorded a maximum boat speed of 26 knots.

Leg Five Day Five: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)

Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTF 10886 nm
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +4
Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +142
Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +207
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +284

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