November 3, 2008 Ericsson 4 has taken out leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race and broken the 24 hour monohull record in the process. The boat by covered the 6,500 mile journey from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa in 21 days, 17 minutes and 54 seconds, setting a new world record of 602 nm in 24-hours on day 19 (29 October) with the help of a storm to south of the fleet.
One of the early favorites to take out the nine month, 37,000 nautical mile race, Ericsson 4 had a tight tussle with second placed PUMA throughout leg one - even after 3,000 nm the two boats were often on sight of each other.
In addition to battling the other seven competitors and the notorious Doldrums, the boat had to make a detour to evacuate trimmer/helmsman, Tony Mutter of New Zealand, but came from behind in the final three days to finish 135 miles ahead of PUMA.
The win in the first (and second longest) leg of the race puts Ericsson 4 in the overall lead as the fleet heads for the next port of call - Cochin.
Via: The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09
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