Saturday, March 28, 2009

Green Dragon finishes 4th in leg 5 of Volvo Ocean Race

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] Green Dragon skipper Ian Walker/GBR led his hungry crew over the finish line outside the Marina da Gloria, in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday afternoon to claim fourth place in Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Crossing the finish line at 18:59 GMT (15:59 local time) the Irish/Chinese team finished the longest leg in the history of the race with an elapsed time of 42 days 13 hours and 59 minutes.

It’s been a long leg for the Green Dragon crew, made all the more difficult by the team running low on both food and fuel during the final week. In fact, the team had to re-fuel before it could bring the boat into the marina.

“It’s been a hard 10 days – these last 10 days,” Walker said once his boat was safely dockside. “We just had to stick at it. It feels like quite an achievement to sail 12,500 miles! Getting around Cape Horn was always something I wanted to do, but getting here and having a steak sandwich is the highlight right now.”

Green Dragon, skippered by Ian Walker (GBR) finish fourth into Rio de Janeiro on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Rio de Janeiro 28 March 2009. Photo copyright Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

Navigator Wouter Verbraak, who started the Volvo Ocean Race with Team Russia, is scheduled to join Delta Lloyd for Leg 6. But for the longest stage of the race, he has been with Green Dragon, replacing Ian Moore for the leg.

“It’s been a real leg of extremes. I thought I’d seen highs and lows on the other legs, but this is such a marathon,” he said. “You go from one dip to the next mountain. For us as a team it’s been really good to keep coming back until the very end.”

The fourth place finish means the team collects 5 points towards its total on the overall leaderboard. Green Dragon sits in fifth place, four points behind Leg 5 winner Ericsson 3.

Telefonica Blue is the only boat in the fleet still at sea. At the time of Green Dragon’s finish, Bouwe Bekking’s squad had 39 miles left to run, with a predicted ETA near midnight tonight.

Leg Five Finishing Order Rio
1. Ericsson 3: 8 points
2. Ericsson 4: 7 points
3. PUMA: 6 points
4. Green Dragon: 5 points

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