VO70 roars down the South Atlantic

Swedish Volvo Ocean Race entryEricsson 4has continued her historic run in the South Atlantic. She broke through the 600-mile barrier, with her log reaching 602.66 nautical miles at 18:54 GMT yesterday.

The record must now be ratified by ISAF and the World Sailing Speed Record Council. That is likely to happen a week after the fleet’s arrival in Cape Town, which, at the going rate, is predicted as Monday 3rd November.

The new mark established by Torben Grael’s men translates into an average speed of 25.11 knots, according to the telemetry received from the boat at Race Headquarters.

It eclipsed the previous best 24-hour run for a racing monohull of 562.96 miles set by Sebastian Josse and the crew of ABN AMRO TWO on the second leg of the 2005-06 race from Cape Town to Melbourne. Ericsson 4 added nearly 40 miles to that figure.

Grael and his crew had been pushing the boat hard for well over 24 hours, first toppling the previous mark at 03:55 GMT with a run of 566.57 miles. They raised the bar repeatedly and by 13:00 GMT, 593 miles were on the board as the magical 600-mark grew nearer. By 14:25, they had clocked 594.23 as they moved onwards and upwards. Then came Grael’s holy grail.

The achievement is all the more credible given that Ericsson 4 have been sailing a man down since dropping off Tony Mutter, one of their helmsmen, at the Cape Verde Islands.

Volvo Ocean Race website