Nordic crew are popular winners in leg five of Volvo race

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The Independent Online

In what is the most popular win so far in the Volvo round the world race, Sweden's Ericsson 4, skippered by the 60-year old Magnus Olsson, outwitted all rivals to be first into Rio de Janeiro at the end of leg five. The Nordic Crew mix of grizzled experience and fresh-faced talent had not even made it to Qingdao in time for, at 12,300 miles, the start of the longest leg in the race's history.

They had been in Taiwan repairing their 70-foot yacht, completed the leg only to see their rivals having started two hours before they crossed the finish line, and then gave chase five hours later.

A bold tactical decision off New Zealand then gave them the jump over their rivals, Olsson paying full tribute to his navigator, Aksel Magdhal.

Neck and neck for second were E3's star-studded stablemate, E4, skippered by Torben Grael, and the American entry Puma, skippered by Kenny Read. The Irish/Chinese-backed Green Dragon hangs on to fourth place ahead of Spain's Telefonica Blue, skippered by Bouwe Bekking. For the next leg, to Boston, it is expected that two other badly damaged boats, Telefonica Black and Delta Lloyd, now repaired, will rejoin the fleet.

In Long Beach, California, Britain's multi-Olympic medallist and America's Cup skipper Ben Ainslie was lying second to the East Coast American Terry Hutchinson at the end of the second day of rounds robin in the Congressional Cup match race series.

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