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May 8, 2009 Permalink

The Volvo Ocean Race

The 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race has arrived in Boston Harbor. Boston is the 6th port city for the eight teams which will race around the globe for nine months over 37,000 nautical miles split into 10 legs. The ships they sail are Volvo Open 70 class racing yachts, 21.5 meters (70.5 feet) long, manned by a crew of 11. While the ships are in port, they hold in-port races as well as hosting events and entertainment for local residents. Tomorrow (Saturday, May 9th), the fleet will hold its in-port race in Boston Harbor, and later, on May 16th, they will depart for leg 7 of the race, to Galway, Ireland, concluding the race in St. Petersburg, Russia in late June. Oskar Kihlborg, team photographer for Ericsson Racing with nearly 15 years experience as a sailing photographer has been kind enough to share the following photos with us. (31 photos total)
[Author's note: I will be on vacation next week. Big Picture entries will resume May 18th.]

Team russia chases Team Ericsson's E3 in the Volvo Ocean Race in-port race in Alicante, Spain. (© Oskar Kihlborg)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

138 comments so far...

Awesome photos! I love this race.

Posted by Jon D May 8, 09 12:52 PM

People get paid for this... I am in the wrong career.

Posted by Ben LEvenson May 8, 09 12:53 PM

the last 3 galleries weren't that good....what's wrong?

Posted by sml May 8, 09 12:54 PM

Just Amazing AGAIN! Thank you Big Picture!

Posted by Jorin Cowley May 8, 09 12:56 PM

some top notch sailing!

Posted by tyler May 8, 09 12:58 PM

Pictures from Rio de Janeiro are stunning!!!

Posted by Gustavo Zanoni May 8, 09 01:00 PM

Amazing yet again !

Posted by Axel May 8, 09 01:00 PM

Sailboat ocean racing is the most bad ass port in the world. Great Pics!

Posted by Windphile May 8, 09 01:01 PM

WOW! Great pictures as always! This is such a powerful sport :D
Do you have some photos in your archives for a post on rock climbing? ;) That would be awesome...

cheers from germany,

Posted by flouSH May 8, 09 01:04 PM

I love it!!!

Posted by Denis May 8, 09 01:09 PM


Posted by Dmitry May 8, 09 01:10 PM

amazing! awesome!

Posted by martinsc May 8, 09 01:12 PM

OMG..... were there people climbing the statue of christ....

Posted by Sosh May 8, 09 01:16 PM

i was traveling with this photo.

Posted by ilias May 8, 09 01:25 PM

The pictures are good, but I dont' care for the boats or the race. Big waste of money as far as I'm concerned. Love picture 3, I'm so much more amazed by the beauty of nature than by the feats of men.

Posted by solaveritas May 8, 09 01:35 PM

@13: those are position lights ...

Posted by Donald May 8, 09 01:35 PM

Their office is waaaaaaaaaay cooler than mine :(

Posted by Trev D. May 8, 09 01:41 PM

Picture 24 is amazing!

Posted by Nikola May 8, 09 01:56 PM

What time is the Boston Harbor Race tomorrow?

Posted by Margie May 8, 09 01:58 PM

awesome pictures.

Posted by Ann DeLuca May 8, 09 02:04 PM

Some incredible photos. As always, thanks for your work on this column.

Posted by Anthony May 8, 09 02:11 PM

absolutely breathtaking!
best I've seen in this blog

Posted by Anonymous May 8, 09 02:12 PM

Great photos, but where has the Globe been all this time?! and how about some photos of the American race contender sponsored by PUMA ? The have some of the best graphics.

The excitement arrived at fan pier weeks ago. This is such a great opportunity for Boston to host such a large international event. The Globe and their readers have really missed most of the action. Start posting more stories. Some of the best stories are already written for you and posted on

Posted by Stitz May 8, 09 02:15 PM

I just hope the Mayor doesn't tax them out of town!

Posted by MDiPerrio May 8, 09 02:16 PM

Love pic 27, the sea looks like engraved..

Posted by GroRez May 8, 09 02:20 PM

Broad reach in 20 knots of steroids necessary!

Posted by essexcnty1 May 8, 09 02:21 PM

and to think this wonderful, global spotlight for Boston, sailing experience will be repeated in a few months time with the Tall Ship Boston 09, as long as the Menino crew do not screw it up for us

Posted by JDK May 8, 09 02:30 PM

It must be hard work, although #3 makes me think it's divine. Great pictures, but to much of the E-word.
greetingens from the netherlands

Posted by gerrit May 8, 09 02:49 PM

amazingggggggg photos!!! simply breathtaking!

Posted by Emily May 8, 09 02:51 PM

Not to slight the sailors and their skills, nor the manifest beauty of the sport, but I've read that in order to understand racing big yachts, all you need to do is stand under a freezing saltwater shower while tearing up $100 bills.

Posted by Jack D. May 8, 09 02:58 PM

Very nice photos!! But photo 2 is from the last race four years ago..........

Posted by Paul May 8, 09 03:01 PM

Awesome pictures but I had one nagging question, do the crewmembers get tested for performance enhancing fertility drugs???

Posted by Manny was Framed May 8, 09 03:07 PM

Great photos (as usual). No. 26 is fantastic.

Posted by pft May 8, 09 03:10 PM

Margie, Race tomorrow starts at 1 pm.

Posted by Tom May 8, 09 03:10 PM

wasnt expecting this post to be that great because i dont give a damn about boating, but some of these pictures were fantastic. #3 definitely just became my background

Posted by master debater May 8, 09 03:18 PM

LOVE LOVE LOVE #22. I've never seen a picture of Rio from that angle. Fantastic!!!
(Love #24 too!)

Posted by mileslarboy May 8, 09 03:22 PM

Picture 24 is idiotic.

Posted by Ethan May 8, 09 03:31 PM

#3 is awe inspiring. I'm very selective of what photos make the cut to be in my pictures for my screen saver. No thought to that one.

Posted by Jake L May 8, 09 03:46 PM

20 and 26 - really great photography work!

Posted by ophelia May 8, 09 03:58 PM

Good pictures as always. Although with the state the world is in spending the time and money racing boats (in my opinion) could be better used elsewhere.

Posted by K. May 8, 09 04:09 PM


Posted by Anonymous May 8, 09 04:16 PM

#30 That's in order to understand owning a yacht. Actually sailing them is a lot more fun.

Posted by Nick Coyne May 8, 09 04:18 PM

Great pics - this race is amazing.

It's too bad that the Boston media has largely ignored this event - i brought the whole family to Fan Pier last weekend and everyone (including 7 & 5 yr olds) had a ton of fun.

Posted by jsolt May 8, 09 04:24 PM

wow, again and again - thanks for sharing

Posted by F. C. Ruge May 8, 09 04:36 PM

Awesome photo's. Every time for Boston! I hope you peeps keep up the good work!

Posted by Luuk May 8, 09 04:38 PM

La voile et la mer. Un duel!
Great! Awesome!

Posted by pierroro May 8, 09 04:53 PM

#26 is genuis!

Posted by James Scott May 8, 09 04:56 PM

Where are the boats docked while in Boston?

Posted by Phig May 8, 09 05:02 PM

good eyes. great vision. such breathtaking beauty. thank you oskar for sharing your joys with us.

Posted by Massey May 8, 09 05:20 PM

There are two races tomorrow at 1 pm and about 2:15. South of Nahant, East of Winthrop. See, or the facebook group, I think it's something like volvooceanraceatfanpierboston.

Posted by throckbot May 8, 09 05:58 PM

I'm volunteering at the Volvo in Boston and was fortunate enough see the first 3 boats arrive. These guys are true athletes, no steriods!

Posted by Marg Salemme May 8, 09 06:05 PM

Brazil allways look so beautiful in Big Picture.

Posted by Deby Alison Enredo May 8, 09 07:43 PM

Really made me feel the atmosphere there. Great shots.

Posted by Michael May 8, 09 08:18 PM

I remember some years ago, during the Whitbread 'Round the World Race, a New Zealander said that it was like standing under a cold shower, tearing up $100 bills!

Good photies, a lot of effort went ito them.


Posted by Spitfire May 8, 09 09:05 PM

Christ the Redeemer,Thank you !!!!

Posted by Paul May 8, 09 10:48 PM

I used to race a 505. Same idea just a bit smaller. Awesome pictures.

Posted by Graham May 8, 09 11:26 PM

Static pics but bring out the drama and the emotion involved so well.

Posted by Smita May 9, 09 02:33 AM

It is an Ericsson report,
not a report on The Race

trop de la balle la puissance de la 13 : Pirates of the Caribbean

Posted by uatio May 9, 09 04:49 AM

WOW!!! so lovely!!

Posted by Alexander Hahn May 9, 09 05:05 AM


Posted by GODFREY BOOI May 9, 09 07:18 AM

WOW!!! Spettacolo!!!

Posted by Giò May 9, 09 07:36 AM

These photo's are beautiful and truly amazing.
LOVE them ALL - so exciting.

We are volunteers at the Boston Volvo Race Camp and will make a video with these awesome photos together with some home video from the Pier.

We look forward to in the In-Port races this wknd and hope to get a chance to see the boats in the ater close up....and hope to get a glimse of the King of Sweden.

Posted by Christian and Christine Bjorbaek May 9, 09 07:52 AM

@13 No those are lightning rods. Which is logical when you get a better view of the scale of the statue compared to human size.

Posted by Robbie May 9, 09 08:49 AM

Amazing photos--amazing race--amazing men!
Loved #9--

Posted by Joanne Wheeler May 9, 09 10:35 AM

Number 26 is amazing!

Posted by Ryan Spence May 9, 09 12:00 PM

Amazing photos !

to the editor :
Would it be possible to post the exif with the photos ? or at least lens and camera...?
Thanks a lot !

Posted by Martin May 9, 09 12:15 PM

...................... amazing !!!! ......................... thanks :o)))))

Posted by susan May 9, 09 01:17 PM

Wow what a great photo, a brav man than me to be climbing that mast.

Great sit BTW, good luck in photo blog awards


Posted by Adrian May 9, 09 02:19 PM

Simply perfect

Posted by Lupusisko May 9, 09 04:38 PM

Amazing photos, 25 is beautiful.

Posted by human being May 9, 09 06:37 PM

Do people really climb the mast "to check for wind"? Never heard of that one before...

Posted by Will May 9, 09 07:39 PM

Nice angle on Sugar Loaf! Loved Rio, wish I could have been there to watch.

Posted by Eric May 9, 09 07:52 PM

#71 By climbing the mast you can see where the breeze is coming through some distance away and adjust your course to take advantage of it.

Wonderful shots as always.

Posted by Alan May 10, 09 12:46 AM

wow @ #26

Posted by foo May 10, 09 01:27 AM

Great! #26 is soooo "liquid"! :-)

Posted by Thomas May 10, 09 06:16 AM

@71 Yes they do. When the sea is calm you may want to climb higher and look where the wind stirs up the ocean and steer that way. Satellite weather data is not that usable on a local scale.

Posted by Robbie May 10, 09 08:00 AM

I wonder if they'll be dining in Roxbury, Dorchester or downtown Lowell after the Boston race? I mean is this anything but an extravagant luxury only less than 1% of the population can afford?

Posted by Rhoda May 10, 09 10:27 AM

>an invitation to the upcoming launch of the Space Shuttle (STS-125) on Monday

Have a good holiday, enjoy the launch.

Posted by Chris Greaves (Toronto) May 10, 09 12:29 PM

Photo 26 is an easy type of photo to take - all you have to do is watch the water for interesting reflections. Photo 25 is not easy - that one took a lot of planning and a lot of luck. IMHO 25 is by far the most amazing photo in the batch.

TBP, enjoy your vacation. Next time, it would be super if you could get someone to guest post while you take some time off so we don't have to go through withdrawal!

Posted by JC Dill May 10, 09 02:51 PM

Amazing photos, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Americas cup are both breathtaking sporting events.

Posted by Jeroen May 10, 09 02:55 PM

I love your photos! How did you find out about this race? Leave it to you to find out about this unbelievable race! xoxo, Jacque

Posted by Jacque Wynne May 10, 09 03:42 PM

Please do the same for the Vendee Globe sailboats race

Posted by Anonymous May 10, 09 04:10 PM

This makes me so ecstatic that it's sailing season again. Such amazing shots, it's making me jealous.

Posted by Evan L B May 10, 09 04:11 PM

Thank you. Awesome photos.

Posted by Emerson May 10, 09 08:41 PM

@#66, Martin: Go to the photographer's web site (linked at the bottom of the gallery) for the photo info. These pictures were NOT taken by Globe photogs - they're by a photographer who is following the whole Volvo Ocean Race.

@#77, Rhoda: What's your point? This is a 9-month around the world race that goes through some of the most treacherous seas on the planet. The crews on these boats risk life and limb to compete... why should they go and eat in Roxbury or Dorchester?? Can't you just be glad that they came to Boston as their only North American port of call?

Posted by Reader May 10, 09 09:09 PM

Yes 25 is the most elegant shot, but 31 best captures the scope of the accomplishment (I totally agree with saving it for last). These boats are small, the ocean is big, and the sailors are courageous. Some things haven't changed since Magellan, and that's good.

Posted by John May 11, 09 01:00 AM

I agree with #58, even though the pictures are great, this seems more like an Ericsson advertising campaign than a Volvo Ocean Race report... a clever move by Ericsson to get free advertising.
To get things straight, maybe the title of this entry should be "Ericsson Racing in the Volvo Ocean Race".

Posted by Jav May 11, 09 05:11 AM


Posted by tiziano May 11, 09 06:20 AM

4# Torben Grael rulez!

Posted by Luciano May 11, 09 07:18 AM

Wow, amazing set as always, I especially like #3, #9 and #25

Posted by Maxime Perron Caissy May 11, 09 08:40 AM

Awesome pictures!

Posted by Rune May 11, 09 10:19 AM

I'm coming Volvo Ocean Race!
If it takes me twenty years, I'll be there!
And the Ocean will challenge all!

Posted by Ryan Fagg May 11, 09 01:00 PM

Sailing is expensive and racing anything, from bikes to pigeons is super expensive. I can't imagine the cost of sailboat racing. Must be ruinous.

Posted by pk May 11, 09 01:09 PM

Except for #9 and #26, rest are ultra boring.

Posted by MojoJojo May 11, 09 05:24 PM

Why "Russia" at the first photo write with a small letter? Are you Canadian hockey fan?

Posted by Ivan Taranov May 11, 09 08:15 PM

WOW! Incredible photos. Very artist yet true to sailing.
Thank you!

Posted by Tamasin Johnson May 11, 09 08:37 PM

Your pictures are simply wonderful. I've sent the link to many and everyone tells me they loved the pics!

I think #22 is my favourite since I live in Rio and we hardly ever get a picture that has both the Sugar Loaf and the Corcovado/Christ, the Redeemer. Thanks a lot for that!

Posted by André Terra May 11, 09 10:30 PM

The last photo is killer....

Posted by Grant May 12, 09 12:37 AM

Is this an ericsson's commercial?
I have seen a lot of good pictures of this competition with the others teams on it.

Posted by Andru May 12, 09 04:20 AM

Hi , excellent photos, I am from India and I happy to see few photos from my native place …cochi…. Congratulation to all who workout for this rice and photography......

Joseph Antony

Posted by Joseph Antony May 12, 09 05:46 AM

adventurous and exciting human and camera eyes.great; keep going

Posted by brigadier vps redhu May 12, 09 08:58 AM

I was looking forward to some of those shots (like on the front of a couple of days ago) of the ships with a bokeh'd Boston skyline in the background ;(

Posted by Craig May 12, 09 09:05 AM

Awesome pictures, Thank you for sharing them with us, cheers from Lebanon!

Posted by Michel Abi Saab May 12, 09 09:30 AM

Who loves sailing or to be in this activity , we celebrate him / her. with this choice.

Posted by Mufit May 12, 09 09:50 AM

These boats are causing irreperable harm to the environment and the whales. Won't somebody think of the whales?

Posted by Otto May 12, 09 04:22 PM

More awesome than the TransPac! Excellent photos! Great seafarers!

Posted by Barbara Rosson Davis May 12, 09 05:32 PM

The Vikings would be jealous, despite their elegant wooden boats!
The photographers should receive prizes too! Bravo to all who participated.

Posted by Barbara Rosson Davis May 12, 09 05:44 PM

stunning stuff...really liked 19...patrick o'brian would be proud.

Posted by richard sweet May 12, 09 10:19 PM

This photographer has got incredible talent.

Posted by Anonymous May 13, 09 08:51 AM

Is very beautiful nice,

Posted by Blas May 13, 09 12:14 PM

In the shot with the scuba diver checking the keel, the torpedo shaped keel appears to be not aligned with the shadow of the boat above. Do these things swivel perhaps to reduce drag?

Posted by B. Clark May 13, 09 12:50 PM

#26 looks rendered in 3d... has what seems to be artifacts of 3d rendering

Posted by bryan May 13, 09 12:54 PM

#105, they did think of the whales when they had the exclusion zone coming into Boston. They had to go all the way around. Check it out on

Posted by Liss May 13, 09 01:44 PM

superb pictures.

Posted by steve May 13, 09 04:23 PM

Such Amazing pictures! I l love Christ the Redeemer looking out over the fleet! Breath taking!

Posted by Jo May 13, 09 06:44 PM

The love of the Earth, and its glory is only felt when sailing its oceans. I only wish is to had a dad who sailed. Started when i was 47 years young, racesailing,log 160 races and 4 international races. My captain made captain of the year for 2 years straight., and i do belive that the crew is part of the glory. Even tho we walk the plank many of times.He or she who thinks they know everthing, Go sail mother Earth.,youll learn even more, if she lets ya . May the sea watch over all sailors..

Posted by C.K.C. Conner May 13, 09 09:08 PM

Beautiuful and unbelievable

Posted by John L. Boulter May 13, 09 10:22 PM

Fantastic, just fantastic!!!

Posted by Jander May 15, 09 10:36 AM

To everyone who is suspicious of this being Ericsson product placement:

These pictures were taken by the official team photographer for Team Ericsson. Click on his name and go to his website, he is an amazing photographer. However, It would be pretty difficult to be able to afford following a worldwide sailing race if somebody wasn't footing the bill.

Posted by Brad May 15, 09 12:14 PM

Terrific photos, thanks!! What an event, if only Boston had promoted the event a bit more, but typical of the city... something this exciting comes to town and I can barely find anyone aware of the VOR. It's the rare to speak to someone in Boston who actually knows it's happening right in our own backyard. A once in a lifetime experience and I'm so glad I was able to visit many times. Good luck on Leg 7!!

Posted by KAD May 15, 09 03:15 PM

Beautiful photos. Congratulations. Saúde e paz! Peace!

Posted by baratas May 15, 09 07:08 PM

#3 should be a painting

Posted by adam May 15, 09 09:20 PM

Wow! Beautiful Pictures!! Just the composition and the depth of the pictures in relation to element of water are phenomenal!

Posted by Aileen Valencia May 16, 09 11:30 AM

Best picture collection I ever saw! Congrats...

Posted by Frank May 18, 09 09:32 AM

Muito bom este Oskar. Excelente material.

Posted by Ricardo Giusti May 18, 09 10:20 AM

ALAN, come back, we wait for more pictures !
fini les vacances,
end of holidays !

Posted by Back To Job May 18, 09 12:04 PM

#3 - I see the light!!!

Posted by ryan May 18, 09 05:48 PM

I just discovered "the big picture" - thank you for such an amazing column! The pictures are breathtaking, and the non-slidehow format is easy to navigate. Love it!

Posted by Erin D. May 19, 09 08:06 AM

It's a shame that the Globe had no pictures of the Boston event. If a Kennedy showed up at the race event in Boston it would have been all over the paper.

Posted by Toucan May 19, 09 09:12 AM

Stunning collection of photos, one of the best for a while I think. Improved my day considerably.

Posted by Chris May 21, 09 08:50 PM

Wonderful pictures- however why isn't the littleboy in #29 wearing a life jacket?

Posted by gee m. May 23, 09 12:47 AM

Great photos. Today we'll take this year's maiden cruise on Lake Superior in our '76 Columbia 26 and live our own pictures. Smaller, perhaps, but just as beautiful, and wet.

Posted by OldGoalie May 24, 09 04:47 AM

Damn good, but did Ericsson pay for the pictures to be taken?

Posted by Asotome May 25, 09 11:23 AM

Dear Sir,
Your pictures are first class. Can you tell me what camera and lens you use.
Can you tell me details about the photo, what speed, iso etc.
Thank You.

Posted by Gerry Lydon June 10, 09 07:30 AM

Hi Galway, thank´s.
I use Canon EOS 1Ds mk3 and Canon 5D mk2
500- 4,0
300- 2,8
70-200- 2,8
85- 1,4
35- 1,2
16- 2,8
with the new cameras don´t be afraid of using high ISO

Posted by Oskar Kihlborg June 24, 09 01:01 PM

Great pics. can we buy any

Posted by Dr. Leidal August 13, 09 12:05 PM

i love your pics i wish i whor there right now i my not kidding!

Posted by Arbesa October 2, 09 06:21 PM

I hair stood up on my arms ... awesome.

Posted by Angela Carroll November 8, 09 03:33 AM
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