Torben Grael on Ericsson 4
Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race
Torben Grael, the famous Brazilian skipper of Ericsson 4

After 18 days of race, with the arrival of the first leg (Alicante-Capetown) getting closer we can say that Ericsson 4 has been the protagonist of the Volvo Ocean Race until now. Not just because they're actually leading the pack (Puma and Green Dragon are still close) but because they've had a strong mass-mediatic impact at least in two occasions; when Phil Jameson, the onboard medic had to put his medical skills to the test draining Tony Mutter's infected knee and yesterday when they shattered the 24h record previously set by ABN Amro 2 during the last VOR (to be precise Ericsson 4 has broken this record four times in the past 24 hours and it's still keeping a phenomenal pace right now).

Ericsson 4
Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race
A flying fish has decided to jump on board

At 0355GMT Ericsson 4 reached 565 nautical miles in the previous 24 hour period, breaking the existing record by two miles, but that figure increased at 0755 GMT to 589nm and by 1145h GMT this had further increased to 590.5nm. Ericsson 4 broke through the 600-mile barrier as their historic run continued with the log reaching 602.66 nautical miles at 18:54 GMT.
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..

As you can easily understand from the following images Ericsson 4 and the whole VOR fleet had already faced extreme conditions in the first leg:

Ericsson 4
Oskar Kihlborg/Ericsson Racing Team
Ericsson 4 passing Lanzarote

Ericsson 4
Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race
Ericsson 4
Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race
On board with heavy sea


The following pictures are two frames taken from a video footage about draining the knee of the kiwi Tony Mutter, boat’s helm and trimmer.

Ericsson 4
Ericsson 4

here the story in the words of Phil Jameson, onboard medic:
“Tony’s knee was giving him a bit of bother so I called Dr Spike Biggs, one of the race’s medical experts, and he advised me to try and drain his knee. So with the help of Stu [Bannatyne] we gave Tony an anesthetic and proceeded to suck some of the fluid off using a syringe, then we carefully cut the infected area with a scalpel. We then bandaged him up and sent him to his bunk for 24 hours. We hope that he that he will be running around in no time!”
Mutter had been suffering from an infected knee and was receiving antibiotics but on that morning he wokee up with his knee swollen and painful, so after the draining the skipper Torben Grael took the decision to transfer him onto a fishing boat to reach the land and receive medical treatments. Actually he is already in Cape Town waiting for its team.

the difficult decision was taken by Torben Grael:
"The Race Doctor told us that Tony had to be evacuated because the leg had become significantly more swollen over night, and the uncertainty of how quick his condition will improve," said Grael. "Both he and I agreed that it would be a prudent and precautionary measure to evacuate him from the boat. He needs to get proper treatment. In addition once we have passed the Cape Verde Islands, we have a period of some 1,300 nautical miles of open ocean ahead of us.
Obviously Mutter was not happy at all...:
"It's a tough call, but given the state of the infection an easy call, bearing in mind that the conditions in which we live onboard are not ideal for dealing with infections, and add to this the increasingly hot and humid conditions as we reach the Equator and the Doldrums, this is for sure the best course of action. My priority is to get back to 150 percent fitness and rejoin Ericsson 4 in Cape Town,"
here the whole video:

The actual positions.
Ericson4 is leading the fleet:
Ericsson 4

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