Swedish and US yachts do battle over Stockholm stage

Swedish and US yachts do battle over Stockholm stage
Sweden's two Ericsson yachts were neck and neck with US entry Puma Ocean Racing Monday as the boats sprinted for Stockholm on the ninth stage of the Volvo race around the world.

Overall leader Ericsson 4 could be proclaimed the winner of 2009-2010 edition of the event when the yachts reach the Swedish capital after the short 525-mile course from the port of Marstrand.

Ericsson 4 has a 15-point advantage over Puma, with a maximum of 20 points remaining to be won for any of the boats in the two last stages and one in-port race.

Spanish yacht Telefonica Blue, third overall behind Puma, remained in

Marstrand undergoing repairs on Monday after hitting a rock at the start of the stage on Sunday.

Organisers said it was expected to resume the event on Wednesday or Thursday.

Only eight nautical miles separated the six other yachts, which headed up the southwest coast of Sweden and are expected in Stockholm late Monday or early Tuesday.

The Volvo race, which began in the Spanish Mediterranean port of Alicante October, is to conclude in Saint Petersburg, Russia, late this month after negotiating 10 stages over 37,000 nautical miles.

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