Swedes trail leaders in Volvo race

The Swedish yacht, Ericsson 4, was among the five teams sharing the leadership of the Volvo Ocean Race as it passed the first 'scoring gate' en route to the first stop in Cape Town, South Africa.

There was a five-way tie on Friday at the top of the standings of the Volvo Ocean Race around the world after the yachts passed the island of Fernando de Noronha, off the Brazilian coast on Friday morning.

Team Russia was the last of the eight yachts to reach the island.

Chinese-Irish entry Green Dragon was the first to the scoring gate on Thursday, followed by Sweden’s Ericsson 4 and US entry Puma Ocean Racing.

The four points earned by Green Dragon put it in a five-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with Ericsson 4, Puma and Spain’s two Telefonica boats all on six points.

On October 4th, Telefonica Blue took an early lead in the competition by winning the first of the in-port regattas, in the Mediterranean port of Alicante, where the race began on October 11.

The yachts are expected in Cape Town on November 3rd at the end of the first leg.

The finish line in the race of 37,000 nautical miles is in St Petersburg, Russia, where the teams are expected in June 2009.

Each of the yachts receive points according to their position in each of the 10 legs. Half points are also awarded at six scoring gates along the route and for the seven ‘in-port’ races.

The Dutch team Delta Lloyd lead the chasing pack on 2 points while Sweden’s Ericsson 3 and Team Russia trailed on 1 point.