Ocean racer sets world speed record

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The World Sailing Speed Record Council confirmed Monday that the Ericsson 4 racing team is the new holder of the monohull 24-hour record, according to a recent press release.

During the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race Oct. 29 from Alicante,Spain, to Cape Town,South Africa, Ericsson covered 596.6 nautical miles, sailing a Volvo Open 70. The team beat the record by 33.64 nautical miles, once held by Sebastian Josse, who skippered ABN Amro Two in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race.

“We are not participating in this race to break speed records. Still, we are delighted that the crew of Ericsson 4 managed to set a new world record and break the old record by some 33 miles,” says Richard Brisius, managing director for the team, in the report.

Brisius says the team was short one crewmember at the time, and to have achieved this goal despite the odds was a reflection on “the quality and stamina” of Ericsson 4 and the vessel. The race headquarters had originally calculated the team covering 602.66 nautical miles, according to the report.

Both Ericsson 3 and 4 are now racing the second leg to Cochin, southern India. For information visit www.volvooceanrace.org

— Elizabeth Ellis