Leg 4 Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 starts - Cold and Dangerous Waters Ahead


Leg four of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao (2,500 nm), promises to be among the hardest sections of this edition of the race. Before the finish in China, the crews are expected to encounter difficult upwind conditions, freezing temperatures, and boat-breaking sea states caused by strong winds battling fierce currents.


On Friday, the pre-start press conference with the seven skippers in Singapore featured the unusual sight of these highly competitive sailors speaking not of winning the leg, but of how it might be necessary to ease off, to preserve their crew and equipment to ensure safe arrival in Qingdao, China.


"We want to come first like everyone else, but we want to get there more than we want to get there first," said Torben Grael, skipper of the race leading Ericsson 4.


The others on the stage agreed: "Fast or slow, we need to get there in one piece. We have to look out for each other," added Ken Read, skipper of PUMA. "We could get into situations where others need our help so it is a challenge for everyone, not just individually but as a fleet. We've got to get there. We just have to get there."


"You need to be fast and smart but most important, you need to get there in one piece," said Ian Walker, who will be sailing the Green Dragon into its home waters as the boat was built in China.


Leg four is nominally a 2500 nautical mile battle; one of the medium length legs in the race. But, in reality, the teams are expected to sail much further, as the prevailing conditions would typically make much of the leg an upwind beat.


After spending the better part of a month on Sentosa Island in Singapore, it is hard to imagine what lies ahead. The leg will start on Sunday in winds forecast to be near 15 knots and temperatures approaching 30-degrees. 

The first half of this leg should be straightforward; sail the fastest up the race course, utilising the shifts to strike off the miles efficiently. Boat speed and weather analysis will be the keys to success here. Then, a tactically difficult decision comes; whether to go inside or outside Taiwan. The current and sea state will be major factors in making this call.


The final obstacle will be the winter storms that often sweep off the mainland of China at this time of year. They can bring strong winds, thick clouds and rain, or snow and will doubtless provide a very stern test.

When the teams arrive in Qingdao, they will be hosted at a first-class facility. The Race Village is in the same location as the sailing events in the 2008 Olympic Games. The first boats are due to arrive on the 30 January.

The race start in Singapore is scheduled for 1300 local time (0500 GMT). The teams will sail around a triangle-shaped course after the start before proceeding out to sea. Live audio commentary of the leg start will be available on


The next race in the in-port series will be held in Qingdao, China on 7 February.


UBS Challenge for the In-Port Race in the Volvo Ocean Race Singapore
1. Ericsson 4:  (4 points)
2. PUMA:  (3.5 points)
3. Telefónica Blue:  (3 points)
4. Telefónica Black:  (2.5 points)
5. Green Dragon:  (2 points)
6. Ericsson 3:  (1.5 points)
7. Delta Lloyd:  (1 point)

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA):  39 points
2.Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 33.5 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 31 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 24 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 22.5 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echavarri/ESP): 22 points
7. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points
8. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 10 points




1. Roberto Bérmudez de Castro/ESP - skipper
2. Frits Koek/NED - navigator
3. Sander Pluijm/NED -MCM
4. Stuart Wilson/NZL - watch captain
5. Guillermo Altadill/ESP - watch captain
6. Andre Fonseca/BRA - helmsman
7. David Pella/ESP - trimmer/pitman
8. Edwin O'Connor/IRL - trimmer
9. Martin Watts/GBR - trimmer
10. Gerd-Jan Poortman/NED - bowman
11. Morgan White/AUS - bowman

On: Frits Koek/NED - navigator
Guillermo Altadill/ESP - watch captain
Andre Fonseca/BRA - helmsman
David Pella/ESP - trimmer/pitman

Off:  Matthew Gregory/USA - navigator
 Ryan Houston/NZL - watch captain
Peter Van Nierkerk/ NED - helmsman
Eduard van Lierde//NED - helmsman


1. Torben Grael/BRA - skipper
2. Jules Salter/GBR - navigator
3. Guy Salter/GBR - MCM
4. Brad Jackson/NZL - watch captain
5. Stu Bannatyne/NZL - watch captain
6. Dave Endean/NZL - pitman 
7. Horacio Carabelli/BRA - trimmer 
8. Tony Mutter/NZL - trimmer
9. Joao Signorini/BRA - trimmer
10. Ryan Godfrey/AUS - bowman
11. Phil Jameson/NZL - bowman

No changes
1. Magnus Olsson/SWE - skipper
2. Aksel Magdahl/NOR - navigator
3. Gustav Morin/SWE MCM
4. Richard Mason/NZL - watch captain 
5. Thomas Johansson/FIN - helmsman
6. Claes Nylof/SWE - helmsman
7. Martin Strömberg/SWE - trimmer
8. Jens Dolmer/DEN - pitman
9. Jann Neergaard/DEN
10. Anders Dahlsjö/SWE - mastman 
11. Martin Krite/SWE - Bowman 

On:   Claes Nylof/SWE - helmsman
Jann Neergaard/DEN
Off:  Anders Lewander/SWE
Eivind Melleby/NOR - helmsman


1. Ian Walker/GBR - skipper 
2. Ian Moore/IRL - navigator
3. Guo Chuan/CHN - MCM
4. Neal McDonald/GBR - watch captain
5. Anthony Merrington/AUS - watch captain
6. Ian Budgen/GBR helmsman/trimmer
7. Phil Harmer/AUS - helmsman/trimmer
8. Tom Braidwood/AUS - pitman/trimmer
9. Andrew Mclean/NZL - pitman/trimmer
10. Freddie Shanks/GBR - bowman
11. Justin Slattery/IRL - bowman

On: Ian Moore/IRL - navigator
Tom Braidwood/AUS - pitman/trimmer
Ian Budgen/GBR helmsman/trimmer

Off:   Steve Hayles/GBR - navigator
Damian Foxall/IRL - watch captain
James Carroll/IRL - pitman
1. Ken Read/USA - skipper
2. Andrew Cape/AUS - navigator
3. Rick Deppe/GBR MCM
4. Sidney Gavignet/FRA - watch captain
5. Robert Greenhalgh/GBR - watch captain
6. Rob Salthouse/NZL - helmsman/trimmer
7. Justin Ferris/NZL - helmsman/trimmer
8. Erle Williams/NZL - helmsman/trimmer
9. Shannon Falcone/ANT - trimmer/pitman
10. Casey Smith/AUS - bowman
11. Michael Müller/GER - helmsman/bowman

On:  Erle Williams/NZL - helmsman/trimmer
Off:  Chris Nicholson/AUS - watch captain
1. Bouwe  Bekking/NED - skipper  
2. Iker Martinez/ESP - co-skipper/helmsman    
3. Simon Fisher/GBR- navigator
4. Gabriele Olivo/ITA - MCM
5. Jonathan Swain/RSA - watch captain
6. Tom Addis/AUS - meteo
7. Jordi Calafat ESP - helmsman
8. Xabier Fernandez/ESP - trimmer
9. Pablo Arrarte/ESP Spanish - trimmer
10. Daryl Wislang/NZL - bowman
11. Pepe Ribes/ESP - bowman

No changes 
1. Fernando Echávarri/ESP- skipper
2. Roger Nilson/SWE - navigator
3. Mikel Pasabant/ESP - MCM
4. Gonzalo Araujo/ESP - watch captain
5. Jaime Arbones/ESP - watch captain
6. Francisco Rivero/ESP - bowman
7. Pablo Iglesias/ESP - helmsman
8. Javier   De  La  Plaza/ESP - helmsman
9. David  Vera/ESP - trimmer
10. Antonio Cuervas-Mons/ESP - trimmer
11. Michael Pammenter/RSA - bowman

On:  Francisco Rivero/ESP - bowman
Off:  Santiago Lange/ARG - watch captain


For media information on the Volvo Ocean Race, please contact:

Sophie Luther - International Press Officer in Singapore
MOB: + 65 9345 4106 Email:


Beatriz Pastor - Media Relations Manger in Singapore
Mob: + 65 9345 5513 Email:


Lizzie (Green) Ward - Senior Race Press Officer (Race HQ - UK)
Tel: +44 1489 554 832: Mob: +44 7801 185 320


To receive the latest positions and breaking news on your mobile telephone, text "RACE" to +46 737 494949

Full press information can be read and downloaded from:



Specialintressen, Sponsring
Beskrivningar och fakta i detta pressmaterial avser Volvo Car Sverige AB:s nationella modellurval. Den utrustning som anges kan vara extrautrustning. Fordonsspecifikationerna kan skilja sig åt mellan olika länder och kan ändras utan föregående varning.

För information om hur Volvo Cars behandlar dina personuppgifter i relation till Volvo Cars Global Newsroom, KLICKA HÄR.

Volvo Cars Newsroom använder cookies för att kunna optimera olika användares upplevelse av webbplatsen. Ingen personlig information lagras i de cookies webbplatsen använder. Mer information finns i vår Policy för cookies.