2008–2009 Volvo Ocean Race

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2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race
Event Title
Dates4 October 2008 – 26 June 2009
YachtsVolvo Open 70
WinnerEricsson 4

The 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race was a yacht race held between 4 October 2008 and 27 June 2009—the 10th edition of the round the world Volvo Ocean Race.

The eight participating boats made ten stops in nine countries around the world. The first offshore leg of the 2008–09 Race started in Alicante, Spain, on 11 October 2008, with the in-port race having been held seven days earlier. A total of ten legs created the route, with seven in-port (IP) races held at various cities around the world. Unlike previous editions, the route crossed the Strait of Malacca at the Malay Archipelago, instead of Cape Leeuwin south of Australia. The boats covered 37,000 nautical miles (69,000 km) in the course of their journey.[1] The chief executive of the 2008–09 race was Knut Frostad.[2]

On 15 June 2009, Ericsson 4, skippered by Torben Grael, finished third on leg 9 from Marstrand to Stockholm, Sweden. With their third-place finish, they were able to secure overall victory. [3] Ericsson 4 covered the 42,500 miles (68,400 km) of the race in a time of 127 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, 21 seconds.[4] Ericsson 4 completed the race with 114 ½ points, whilst Puma ended with 105 ½.[5] Afterwards Kochi was described as a "memorable" port but Galway was the best.[6]


Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4 in Stockholm
Team & Boat name Sail no. Flag Design Firm Builder Skipper
Ericsson Racing Team
Ericsson 3 – Nordic crew
SWE 3  Sweden Juan Kouyoumdjian Killian Bushe Magnus Olsson (Leg 4- )
Anders Lewander (Leg 1–3)
Ericsson Racing Team
Ericsson 4 – International crew
SWE 4  Sweden Juan Kouyoumdjian Killian Bushe Torben Grael
Green Dragon Racing Team
Green Dragon
IRL 888  Ireland
Reichel/Pugh McConaghy Boats Ian Walker[7]
Puma Ocean Racing Team
Il Mostro
USA 1948  United States Botin Carkeek Goetz Custom Boats &
Customline Yachts
Ken Read
Team Delta Lloyd
Black Betty
NED 1  Netherlands Juan Kouyoumdjian Killian Bushe Roberto Bermudez(Leg 2- )
Ger O'Rourke (Leg 1)
Team Russia (Sponsor: WDCS)
RUS 1  Russia Humphreys Yacht Design Green Marine Andreas Hanakamp
Telefonica Blue
H.R.M. Elena
ESP 12  Spain Farr Yacht Design King Marine Bouwe Bekking
Telefonica Black
H.R.M. Cristina
ESP 11  Spain Farr Yacht Design Southern Ocean Marine Fernando Echavarri


Ericsson's budgets were €50 million, whilst Puma's budget was approximately €20 million.[8] By comparison, the joint Irish and Chinese team, Green Dragon, received €8 million from the Irish government and €4 million from China.[8]

Team websites[edit]




Volvo Ocean Race 2008–2009 Route Map.
Event Starting date Start Finish Distance (nmi) Winner Second Third
IP Race 1 4 October 2008 Spain Alicante - Telefonica Blue Telefonica Black PUMA
Leg 1 11 October 2008 Spain Alicante South Africa Cape Town 6,500 Ericsson 4 PUMA Green Dragon.[10]
Leg 2 15 November 2008 South Africa Cape Town India Kochi 4,450 Ericsson 4 Telefonica Blue Ericsson 3
Leg 3 13 December 2008 India Kochi Singapore Singapore 1,950 Telefonica Blue Puma Ericsson 3
IP Race 2 10 January 2009 Singapore Singapore - Ericsson 4 PUMA Telefonica Blue
Leg 4 18 January 2009 Singapore Singapore China Qingdao 2,500 Telefonica Blue PUMA Ericsson 4
IP Race 3 7 February 2009 China Qingdao - Ericsson 4 Telefonica Blue PUMA
Leg 5 14 February 2009 China Qingdao Brazil Rio de Janeiro 12,300 Ericsson 3 Ericsson 4 PUMA
IP Race 4 4 April 2009 Brazil Rio de Janeiro - Telefonica Blue PUMA Delta Lloyd
Leg 6 11 April 2009 Brazil Rio de Janeiro United States Boston 4,900 Ericsson 4 Ericsson 3 Telefonica Blue
IP Race 5 9 May 2009 United States Boston - Telefonica Blue Ericsson 4 Delta Lloyd
Leg 7 16 May 2009 United States Boston Republic of Ireland Galway 2,550 Ericsson 4 PUMA Green Dragon
IP Race 6 30 May 2009 Republic of Ireland Galway - PUMA Ocean Racing Telefonica Blue Telefonica Black
Leg 8 6 June 2009 Republic of Ireland Galway Sweden Marstrand 950 Ericsson 4 PUMA Green Dragon
Leg 9 14 June 2009 Sweden Marstrand Sweden Stockholm 525 PUMA Ocean Racing Ericsson 3 Ericsson 4
IP Race 7 21 June 2009 Sweden Stockholm - Telefonica Blue PUMA Telefonica Black
Leg 10 25 June 2009 Sweden Stockholm Russia Saint Petersburg 370 Telefonica Black PUMA Telefonica Blue


The route also included seven ‘scoring gates’ (at Fernando de Noronha, Mauritius, Pulau Weh, Indonesia, Latitude 36S, Cape Horn, Fernando de Noronha and St John's, Newfoundland). Yachts scored 'half-points' at these gates, the same as for the in port races.


Cape Town[edit]

Ericsson 4 won leg one of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town in South Africa in a time of 21 days, 17 hours and 54 minutes.[12]


The second leg of began on 15 November 2008, with the sailors avoiding pirates off the coast of Somalia on their way to India.[12]


Telefonica Blue won leg three of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Kochi, India, to Singapore in Singapore.[13] Puma Ocean Racing finished in second place, whilst Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4 finished in third and fourth places respectively.[13] The race was described as very close, with the top four boats finishing the race within twenty minutes of each other.[13] The race took ten days to complete, ending on 22 December 2008.[13]


Telefonica Blue won leg four of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Singapore in Singapore to Qingdao, China.[14] Puma Ocean Racing finished in second place, whilst Ericsson 4 finished in third place. Telefonica Black, Ericsson 3 and Delta Lloyd all withdrew to sail to the Philippines and Taiwan for repairs.[14] The leg lasted from 18 January until 29 January 2009.[14]

Rio de Janeiro[edit]

Ericsson 3 won leg five, the longest leg at 12,300 miles (19,800 km), of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Qingdao in China to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, in a time of 40 days and five hours, arriving on 26 March 2009.[15]

The teams left for Boston in the United States on leg five, which began on 11 April 2009.[15]


The boats arrived in Boston in late April, with an in port race on 9 May. Leg 6 was won by Ericsson 4 at 21:05 GMT, 26 April 2009 after 15 days, 10 hours and 31 minutes of sailing


Ericsson 4 won leg seven of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Boston in the United States to Galway, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a time of seven days, 10 hours, 33 minutes and 51 seconds.[16] Puma Ocean Racing finished in second place, one hour behind.[16] Green Dragon finished in third position, whilst Telefonica Blue finished in fourth place.[16]

Fáilte Ireland West sponsored the two-week Galway Stopover.[17] It was expected that 140,000 people would visit Galway during the Stopover but the final total significantly outnumbered half a million, with some early reports suggesting that over 600,000 people had come to Galway to view the boats.[17][18][19] €43 million was the economic total predicted for Galway from the events but the final total was anticipated to be over €80 million.[17] Figures released the following November suggested the total was just under €56 million.[20] The atmosphere and support in Galway was described positively.[21]

At least 50,000 people watched the seven yachts leave Galway on Leg 8 of the race.[17] Irish President Mary McAleese made a public speech before the sailors took off, noting their “extraordinary skill and resilience” which had “inspired all of us”.[19] Liu Biwei, China's ambassador to Ireland, spoke of how he favoured the Irish-Chinese pairing, and the fleet received several blessings.[19] The sailors reported of the enjoyment they had in Galway, with Puma skipper Ken Read describing it as "the best stopover I have ever been involved with" saying he would return the following year after enjoying his time on the golf course and declaring that there was "something about Ireland and myself that seem to like each other".[22]

Galway is expected to compete again for a stopover during the next race, with other Irish destinations such as Belfast and Dún Laoghaire expected to compete also.[18]


Marstrand, finish of leg eight and start of leg nine.

Ericsson 4 won leg eight of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Galway to Marstrand in Sweden in a time of 12 hours and 57 minutes, their third consecutive victory and fifth overall[23] Puma finished in second place and Green Dragon finished in third place.[1][23] It was Green Dragon's second successive podium finish[24] and, although they finished third, they had led for most of the race.[25]

The boats left Galway Bay, journeying southward along the west coast of Ireland.[26] They then travelled in a south-easterly direction across the Irish Sea to south England, moving in an eastwards direction up the English Channel.[26] The teams then travelled up into the North Sea until arrival at the Baltic Sea.[26]


Puma won leg nine of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Marstrand to Stockholm in Sweden, their first win in the race. The third place for Ericsson 4 was enough for the team to also win the overall race at this point, leading to comparisons with the victor of the previous race, Mike Sanderson and ABN AMRO One, who won at the end of leg seven in Portsmouth, England, in 2006.[27]

Saint Petersburg[edit]

Telefonica Black won the last leg of the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race from Stockholm to Saint Petersburg, covering the 400 miles (640 km) in a time of 1 day, 12 hours and 41 minutes.[4] Puma Ocean Racing had led the race for most of the way.[4] Ericsson 4,[28][29] finished in third place.[4]

Stealth play[edit]

This race featured "Stealth play", a tactic that allowed a crew to hide its position from its competitors for a period of 12 hours. It was designed to add a tactical dimension to the race, whereby a team might opt to make a break from the fleet without the rest of the competitors knowing what they are doing and where they are on the race track. The ploy can first be used on leg one, leg two, leg five, leg six and leg seven. If it is not used on one leg, it cannot be accumulated for use on a following leg.[30]


Results* are listed below:

# Boat Total Leg wins IP race wins
1 Ericsson 4 114.5 5 2
2 Puma Ocean Racing 105.5 1 1
3 Telefonica Blue 98.0 2 4
4 Ericsson 3 78.0 1 0
5 Green Dragon 64.0 0 0
6 Telefonica Black 58.0 1 0
7 Team Delta Lloyd 39.5 0 0
8 Team Russia 10.5 0 0

(*Current results as of 27 June 2009, 2:05:00 GMT, after the finish of IP Stockholm.)[31]


During Leg 1 "Ericsson 4", skippered by Torben Grael, broke the monohull 24 hour distance record when he sailed 596.6 nmi (1,104.9 km), an average of 24.85 kn (46.02 km/h).[32][33]



  1. ^ a b "Grueling Volvo Ocean Race almost decided". CNN. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  2. ^ Volvo Ocean Race 2008/2009
  3. ^ Twentysix London. "Volvo Ocean Race 2008/2009". Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d "Telefonica Black wins last leg of Volvo Ocean Race". The Seattle Times. 28 June 2009. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  5. ^ Museler, Chris (27 June 2009). "After Long and Costly Trip, Volvo Race Closes". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  6. ^ "World's enough for sailor Bill". The Belfast Telegraph. 29 June 2009. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Walker to set sail in Volvo race". BBC. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  8. ^ a b "Missing the boat". Limerick Leader. 5 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  9. ^ Volvo Ocean Race 2008/2009 Teams
  10. ^ Twentysix London. "Ericsson 3 demoted from 3rd – scoring penalty". Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  11. ^ "Volvo Ocean Race 2008/2009 Schedule". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  12. ^ a b "Ericsson 4 claim Volvo Ocean leg". BBC. 2 November 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  13. ^ a b c d "Telefonica Blue wins Volvo stage (Dec 2008)". BBC. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  14. ^ a b c "Telefonica Blue wins Volvo stage (Jan 2009)". BBC. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Ericsson 3 wins fifth Volvo stage". BBC. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  16. ^ a b c "Ericsson 4 wins Galway Volvo leg". BBC. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  17. ^ a b c d "€80m benefit to Galway estimated". Galway News. 5 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  18. ^ a b "Race is on to bring yachts to Dublin". Evening Herald. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  19. ^ a b c "Ocean racing yachts leave feelgood factor in their wake". The Irish Times. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009. Addressing the crews before their departure, President Mary McAleese said their “extraordinary skill and resilience” had “inspired all of us”. She paid tribute to the organisers, to the hundreds of volunteers and to the “people of Galway who took this ocean race to their hearts”. The Chinese ambassador to Ireland Liu Biwei spoke of his enthusiasm for the Irish-Chinese twinning, and the fleet was blessed by Canon Maureen Ryan, Pastor Tim Cummings and Fr Dick Lyng. Commentator Daithí Ó Sé was anxious to correct any impression that the Galway populace had turned out specially for the nocturnal fleet arrival two weeks earlier. “That was just the crowd for first Sunday morning Mass,” he quipped.
  20. ^ "Volvo race boosts Galway economy". RTÉ. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
  21. ^ "Dragon's poor display can't dampen fantastic week". Irish Independent. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  22. ^ "'I'll be back', Puma skipper vows". Galway Advertiser. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  23. ^ a b "Ericsson 4 cement Volvo advantage". BBC. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  24. ^ "Green Dragon takes podium placing". RTÉ. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  25. ^ Laven, Kate (11 June 2009). "Volvo Ocean Race: Green Dragon light on performance". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  26. ^ a b c "Re-shuffle for Green Dragon crew". RTÉ. 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  27. ^ Laven, Kate (17 June 2009). "Ericsson 4 win Volvo Ocean Race". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  28. ^ "Volvo Ocean Race winners: 'We fought for every mile'". CNN. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  29. ^ "Ericsson 4 team celebrates Volvo Ocean Race win". Taiwan News. 28 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  30. ^ "Volvo Ocean Race - Stealth Play". Volvo Ocean Race. 7 October 2008. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008.
  31. ^ "Volvo Ocean Race". Archived from the original on 26 December 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  32. ^ WSSRC – 24 Hour Distance Records
  33. ^ "Swedish boat breaks 24-hour mark". BBC. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.

External links[edit]