Sailing: Brasil 1 finishes as Ericsson limps to line

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The Independent Online

Breakfast came a little later than planned yesterday for the Brazilian team in the Volvo Race after they took nearly seven hours to complete the last 20 miles of the first leg from Vigo to here.

They secured third place for the 6,400-mile leg and put another five points on their score, which means they are equal second with Neal McDonald, in Ericsson, who was yesterday gingerly covering the final 190 miles, nursing a damaged keel control mechanism.

The Brasil 1 skipper, Torben Grael, was relaxed about the boat's performance. "It was an extremely good race and it is very important for us to be second overall," he said. "The boat is in very good shape."

Also looking relaxed were the two ABN Amro boats, which took first and second. The winning skipper, Mike Sanderson, has a total of 11.5 points, having also led at the stage gate round Isla da Noronha off Brazil, with Grael and McDonald (when he finishes) on 10.5. Fourth is Sébastien Josse's ABN Two with 9.5 and fifth, still with 1,500 miles to go, will be the Australians on 4.5.

Already in Cape Town for repairs after retiring with structural damage is Paul Cayard's Disney-backed Pirates of the Caribbean, lying sixth with 2.5 from the first inshore race. And being shipped from Cadiz is the repaired Spanish entry movistar, skippered by Bouwe Bekking, seventh with 2.0.