Brasil 1, Brazil's first entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, arrived in Melbourne yesterday at the end of a 4,000km road journey from Fremantle on the opposite side of Australia.

The unusual trip was necessary following serious structural damage the 70-foot (21.3 metres) high ocean racing yacht suffered on the last leg of the race in the Southern Ocean.

"It was a pretty worrying journey as everyone was phoning me up and asking where I was and I was saying 'I am getting there as quick as I can'," truck driver Charlie Mills told reporters after finishing the five-day journey.

"There were a few delays on the way. During the run across the Nullabor (plain) we had gale force winds pushing the boat around and I had to back off a little bit. It has certainly been an experience and a half."

Brasil 1 attracted a fair bit of interest on the back of the lorry.

"I had a lot of comments," Mills said. "People were telling me I was going the wrong way and pointing in the direction of the nearest water, but the main thing is that we got here in one piece."

While the rest of the fleet went under the Bolte Bridge as they arrived in Melbourne, Brasil 1 went over it before making the final turn into the race village.

The Volvo Ocean race started on November 12 and is due to finish in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 17.

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