Sunday, March 25, 2012

CAMPER Head to Chile For Repairs - Volvo Ocean Race Update

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand will divert to Puerto Montt on the west coast of Chile to repair bow damage suffered in the ferocious conditions currently being experienced in the Southern Ocean.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson confirmed the need to go in for repairs, while pledging to resume racing and reach the Leg 5 finish line in Itajaí in Brazil.

"We are 2,500 nautical miles (nm) away from where we are going, which is Puerto Montt in Chile, on the western coast," skipper Chris Nicholson said. "It’s about 800 nm north of Cape Horn.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
"What led us to this course is I guess like a classic Southern Ocean snowball effect where we had some problems with our bulkhead early on in the race, we repaired that only for that repair to fail again probably about three days ago.

"Then we were trying to stem the flow in terms of stopping the problem getting any worse. The bulkhead offers a lot of support to our longitudinals (hull supports) and we have to keep the longitudinals intact.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
"Unfortunately some of the secondary bonding let go off the longitudinal and that’s basically when seamanship has to take over and basically call enough is enough.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
"We are running out of spare materials to effect repairs at sea and the repairs are struggling to be effective so we had to slow the boat down immediately and assess the situation.

"We estimate it will be three days of repairs and then we will be on our way to Itajaí. So we will suspend racing once we get closer to Puerto Montt, do our repairs and get back in the race."
Photo: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
Ahead, Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas/FRA) lead PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (Ken Read/USA) by 45.8 nm, with Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) in third, 104.20 astern. All three boats have passed the central ice limit and are heading towards the final eastern ice waypoint.

The freezing wind has been blowing 40 knots and gusting 60 for the past 24-hours. With huge breaking waves and an angry and confused sea state, all competitive thoughts have gone out the window as the teams battle to slow their boats in an effort to keep them in one piece. It will take another four to five days in similar conditions for the fleet to reach Cape Horn.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
“Everyone is on the same page,” wrote PUMA’s skipper Ken Read. "We are certainly making the best of what could be classified as a ‘seriously full-on’ situation out here in the lovely Southern Ocean.

“The massive swells are… who knows… 30, 40, 50 feet tall. Ask anyone on any of the boats and I am sure you would find a different, but still very large number.”
Photo: Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
For Ian Walker and his men on board fifth-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) the torture of the leading trio is either a dream or a nightmare, as the Emirati team lie becalmed in the ‘roaring forties’ as they finally reach the western ice limit waypoint.

“We cannot help but look at the position and wind reports of the boats ahead to even wonder if we aren’t in the best place,” mused the skipper.

The unusual conditions for Abu Dhabi will last another 24 hours or so, when the team will continue to bleed miles, but they are ready and prepared to accept the worst the Southern Ocean can throw up further down the track. The team is now 822.50 nm in deficit.

Team Sanya (Mike Sanderson/NZL) have two days until they reach Tauranga in New Zealand. The team intend to be back in the race as quickly as possible.
Leg 5
25/03/2012 10:02:25 UTC
Volvo Ocean Race Media

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