Ericsson 4 are skippered by Brazilian Torben Grael
Swedish entry Ericsson 4 has broken the world 24-hour distance record for a monohull yacht during the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The yacht, skippered by Brazilian Torben Grael, sailed 589 miles in the south Atlantic, beating the previous record of 562.97 miles.
Ericsson 4 leads from US boat Puma Racing and Green Dragon.
The previous 24-hour distance record was set in January 2006 by ABN Amro 2, skippered by France's Sebastien Josse.
France's Bruno Peyron set the record for the longest distance ever traveled in a yacht in 24 hours when he covered 766.8 miles in the Orange 2 catamaran - a multihull yacht - during his 2006 around-the-world sailing record.
Green Dragon, the Chinese-Irish entry skippered by double Olympic silver medallist and former British America's Cup helm Ian Walker, led around the first scoring gate off Brazil earlier in the race.
The fleet left Alicante, Spain, on 11 October and is expected to reach Cape Town in South Africa on about 3 November at the end of the first 6,500-mile leg.
There are 10 legs in total, with each yacht receiving points according to their position, while half points are also awarded at six scoring gates along the route and for the seven "in-port" races.
The finish line in the 37,000-mile race is in St Petersburg, Russia, where the teams are expected in June 2009.
Volvo Ocean Race 2008 schedule:
Leg 1: Alicante, Spain to South Africa, via scoring waypoint at archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, 6,500 nautical miles, start 11 October 2008
Leg 2: South Africa to the Middle East, via scoring waypoint at 20 degrees south, 5,000nm, start 16 November 2008
Leg 3: Middle East to India, 1,600nm, start 20 December 2008
Leg 4: India to South East Asia, via scoring waypoint at island of Palau Weh, Indonesia, 2,000nm, start 3 January 2009
Leg 5: South East Asia to China (port 1), 2,200nm, start 24 January 2009
Leg 6: China (port 1) to China (port 2), 300nm, start 8 February 2009
Leg 7: China (port 2) to Brazil, via scoring waypoints at 36 degrees South and Cape Horn, 12,000nm, start 22 February 2009
Leg 8: Brazil to the North East USA, via scoring waypoint at Fernando de Noronha, 4,800nm, start 18 April 2009
Leg 9: North East USA to Western Europe, via scoring waypoint on the longitude of St John, Newfoundland, 2,500nm, start 16 May 2009
Leg 10: Western Europe to Sweden, 1,500nm, start 6 June 2009
Leg 11: Sweden to Finish. 250nm on a flexi-course, start 19 June 2009
In-port races will be held in Alicante, Middle East, South East Asia, China (port 2), Brazil, North East USA, Western Europe and Sweden.