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Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:36 UK

Ericsson 4 cement Volvo advantage

Torben Grael
Ericsson 4 skipper Torben Grae has led his team to the verge of victory

Ericsson 4 were closing in on victory in the Volvo Ocean Race after winning leg eight from Galway to Marstrand.

The Swedish team won a third straight leg after covering the 1,250-miles from Ireland to Sweden in 12 hours, 57 mins.

They lead the chasing field by 15 points with two legs to go until the finish in St Petersburg later in June.

Puma finished just minutes behind in second to move up to second overall, while Green Dragon, skippered by Briton Ian Walker, came home third.

Bouwe Bekking's Telefonica Blue finished fourth in Marstrand to slip to third overall, with Ericsson 3 fourth and Green Dragon in fifth.

"It was a very important result, a very close race," said Ericsson 4 skipper Torben Grael, the Brazilian two-time Olympic gold medallist.

"Green Dragon was sailing really well and they had an excellent leg. They went to the front and just stayed there.

"We wanted to have a good result. This is a nice step towards the main goal.

"I have to thank this wonderful group because it was a tough leg, a difficult race and even though it was hard, people were in a good mood on board.

"We're very close to winning the race, but we're not there yet."

The Volvo Ocean Race, which began in Alicante, Spain in October, is to conclude in Russia later in June after nine months negotiating 10 stages over 37,000 nautical miles.

The ninth stage will take the teams 500 miles from Marstrand to Stockholm on Sunday 14 June.

Leg eight results:

1. Ericsson 4 8.0 points

2. Puma Ocean Racing 7.0

3. Green Dragon 6.0

4. Telefonica Blue 5.0

5. Delta Lloyd 4.0

6. Telefonica Black 3.0

7. Ericsson 3 2.0

Overall standings after eighth stage:

1. Ericsson 4 (Swe)/Torben Grael (Bra) 102 points

2. Puma Ocean Racing (US)/Ken Read (US) 87.0

3. Telefonica Blue (Spa)/Bouwe Bekking (Ned) 86.0

4. Ericsson 3 (Swe)/Magnus Olsson (Swe) 64.5

5. Green Dragon (Chi/Ire)/Ian Walker (GB) 59.0

6. Telefonica Black (Spa)/Fernando Echavarri (Spa) 42.0

7. Delta Lloyd (Ned)/Roberto Bermudez (Spa) 35.0

8. Team Russia (Rus)/Andreas Hanakamp (Aut) 10.5 (provisionally withdrawn from the race)

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see also
Ericsson 4 wins Galway Volvo leg
24 May 09 |  Sailing
Volvo race switches to Alicante
07 May 09 |  Sailing
Ericsson 3 wins fifth Volvo stage
26 Mar 09 |  Sailing
Telefonica Blue wins Volvo stage
29 Jan 09 |  Other sport...
Telefonica Blue wins Volvo stage
22 Dec 08 |  Other sport...
Ericsson 4 claim Volvo Ocean leg
02 Nov 08 |  Other sport...

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