The Volvo Ocean Race has reached North America, with Ericsson 4 claiming victory in the sixth leg of the sailing event from Rio de Janeiro to Boston.

This was yet another remarkable finish to a leg with four boats finishing within two hours of each other, after the more than 4,000 mile trip from Brazil to Boston.

In the end, Ericsson 4 increased its overall lead with a third-leg victory, holding off sister ship Ericsson 3, Telefonica Blue and the American entry in the race - Puma Ocean Racing.

Fourth place was a bitter disappointment for Puma, which had hoped for at least a podium finish as she returned to her home port. But skipper Ken Read was generous in defeat, praising Ericsson 4's efforts. "They do not make mistakes. You see the breeze coming and when you know it is coming, you know they have a gear that you just do not have. I give them a lot of credit. They have done a wonderful job preparing their boat and they have done a nice job preparing their program. And they just do not make big errors."

It will take something extraordinary to stop Ericsson 4 from winning the race. But Puma and Telefonica Blue will push them all the way, starting with leg seven - the trip from Boston to Galway in Ireland.

The race is scheduled to end after its 10th leg in late June in St. Petersburg, Russia.