They have won the Volvo Ocean Race and taken the 24-hour world record in the process, but for the Ericsson 4 pair of Brad Jackson and Stu Bannatyne this win brings another accolade. The two watch captains have now entered the history books by joining Mark Christensen as the only men to have won this event three times.

Both men cut their teeth under Grant Dalton's leadership onboard New Zealand Endeavour in the 1993-94 event, scooping three of the six legs en route to winning the maxi class.

And then, in the 2001-02 race, New Zealander Bannatyne, 38, collected his second win in three races as part of John Kostecki's illbruck crew.

Jackson, 41, levelled the score with his compatriot in the last race, sailing as watch captain in Mike Sanderson's all conquering ABN AMRO ONE crew.

This win under Torben Grael means both men have claimed three wins from five races, equalling the tally of fellow New Zealander Christensen, who bagged a hat-trick from four races with successive wins in 1997-98 (EF Language), 01-02 (illbruck), and 05-06 (ABN AMRO ONE), after taking fourth on his debut in 1993-94.

"Very nice to win this one," said Bannatyne, who now holds wins in the Maxi, Volvo 60 and Volvo 70 classes. "They were all tough, this race always is. This was probably the hardest race that I've done. Just a combination of all the different legs; the length of the legs; how severe some were. The boats were so extreme to sail and on top of all that the racing has been so close with all the other boats. It was really hard work.

"I have to stress it's a total team effort. The whole thing started with Ericsson committing very early to doing this. We had good resources, committed early, got the right people and from there on all the right decisions were made."

Jackson added: "You try to be involved in good teams: you get involved with good teams and that gives you a good chance of getting a good result.

"The wins are all very different. The first I was brand new, my first race. I was in a good team with a bunch of good guys. The second one we were probably the underdogs and it was a good feeling to end up winning pretty easily.

"This one my role has probably been a little different, different responsibility. Pretty satisfying; a bit of a relief that we have won it. I think some of the things, like 24-hour record have been the highlight and there have been some pretty good stages along the way.

"We are pretty solid and don't muck things up too often. We are always there and we have good boat speed too. It's always nice to win things, but I don't really think about those kind of records."

Grael paid tribute to both men. He said: "They have done it before and have great experience which has great value on a race like this.

"Sailors like that add a lot of strength to the team. They have a very good sense of how long and how far we push without risking too much which is probably one of the big reasons we have not had problems with our boat."

Elsewhere onboard, Tony Mutter and Dave Endean, who were both part of the ABN AMRO campaign, have now become multiple winners.

Mutter said: "ABN was different because we clearly had a massive advantage speed-wise. It has been harder here because the fleet has been so much closer. The win is very satisfying in that regard.

"You get differences in all campaigns. This time was a little different onboard because we had so many different cultures onboard. Sure, that means we didn't all get on all of the time, but we are professional, you make allowances. Because we had a common goal we were able to achieve it together.

"This is a team of extremely good yachtsmen and we have done well."

Endean added: "I've been lucky to be part of two good campaigns with good people. We have prepared the right way, learnt the limitations of the boat and been able to make the most of it."