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Torben Grael
Torben Grael
Personal information
Full nameTorben Schmidt Grael
Nationality Brazilian
Born (1960-07-22) 22 July 1960 (age 61)
São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Sailing career
Class(es)Soling, Star
ClubBrazil Rio Yacht Club
Torben Grael, skipper of Ericsson 4 and overall winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2009
Torben Grael, skipper of Ericsson 4 and overall winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2009

Torben Schmidt Grael (born July 22, 1960) is one of the most well known Brazilian sailors, renowned in international competitions. A descendant of Danes, he was taken sailing by his grandfather at the age of five years on the sailboat Aileen, of the 6 meter class, which was the boat used by the silver medal winning 1912 Summer Olympics Danish sailing team. Once he moved to Niterói, he started sailing with his brother, Lars Grael, also an Olympic medal winner, on the Bay of Guanabara. He is father of Olympic champion Martine Grael.


Nicknamed Turbine for his fame in conducting sailboats, he collected five Olympic medals, four of them in the Star class.

He is the Brazilian with the highest number of Olympic medals, and holds the highest number of Olympic medals in sailing together with Ben Ainslie and Robert Scheidt with five, followed by Paul Elvstrøm with four. He also placed first place in many World, South American and Brazilian championships in several categories. His first-mate is usually Marcelo Ferreira.

Grael has also sailed in other international competitions including the 2005–06 Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of the Brasil 1 team, the first 100% Brazilian outfit to enter the competition, which finished third overall. He would win the next Ocean Race, but this time as the skipper of the Swedish team Ericsson 4 (he won the race with two legs to spare). In October 2008 the yacht Ericsson 4 officially travelled 596.6 nautical miles in 24 hours, establishing a 24-hour monohull record. Skipper Torben Grael and his crew made the record on the first leg of the 2008–2009 Volvo Ocean Race. They sailed Ericsson 4 hard as a strong cold front hit the fleet, bringing winds approaching 40 knots, and propelling the yacht at an average speed of 24.8 knots.

He has sailed in several America's Cup races, including the winning campaign in Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000 and the 2007 event as tactician aboard Luna Rossa Challenge[1]

Results – Dinghy Sailing


Year Event Venue Class Result
1978 World Championships San Diego, CA, U.S. Snipe Jr. 1st
1980 Sailing Olympic Week Cork, Ireland Soling 1st
1981 North-American Championship Sarnia, Ontario, Canada Soling 1st
1983 IX Pan American Games Caracas, Venezuela Soling 1st
World Championships Porto, Portugal Snipe 1st
1984 Sailing Olympic Week San Remo, Italy Soling 1st
Mediterranean Championship San Remo, Italy Soling 1st
XXIII Olympic Games Los Angeles, U.S. Soling 2nd
1985 World Championships Sarnia, Ontario, Canada Soling 2nd
1987 X Pan American Games Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. Soling 3rd
World Championships La Rochelle, France Snipe 1st
1988 XXIV Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea Star 3rd
1989 European Championship Travemünde, Lübeck, SH, Germany Star 1st
World Championships Karatsu, Saga, Japan Snipe 2nd
1990 World Championships Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. Star 1st
European Championship Lake Balaton, Hungary Star 1st
Sailing Olympic Week Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany Star 1st
1991 World Championships Cannes, France Star 2nd
World Championships Newport, Wales, United Kingdom One Ton 2nd
World Championships Porto Carras, Greece 34 Ton 3rd
European Championship Palermo, Italy Star 1st



  1. ^ ":: TORBEN GRAEL - Titles & Awards".
Olympic Games Preceded byMirella Arnhold Flagbearer for  Brazil Athens 2004 Succeeded byIsabel Clark Ribeiro