Monday, May 28, 2012

Anything But A Normal Atlantic Crossing For CAMPER ETNZ - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Monday May 28th
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
After navigating a tricky high pressure system the fleet are now into the fast downwind running conditions that they have been looking to hook into since the start. Leg 7 is proving to be anything but a ‘normal’ Atlantic crossing.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
“I think we’ve seen the most positional changes, with boats going from first to sixth and sixth to first and anything in between, so not what I would call normal. I guess that’s what happens when you cross high pressure systems. You would normally pick up a front and takes you most of the way across the pond, it’s been anything but that this time, just weather system after weather system, there have been a lot of things blocking and not moving on, everyone is in same position and there hasn’t been a big break yet,” said Skipper Chris Nicholson.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
The next big obstacle for the fleet lies a few hundred miles off the coast of Lisbon, MCM Hamish Hooper described it today as, “a high pressure show stopping ridge between the Azores and Lisbon which has great potential to once again to provide more blood pressure moments”. This ridge has the potential to halt the front runners and allow compression of the fleet. The navigators are glued to the navigation station as they try and pick the best route across and onto the finish.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
Nicholson added, “It is going to be light air transition going into Lisbon, where we might all hit the wall together and it will come down to who picks the best spot and wriggles their way through. You won’t have a chance to recover from any slip up from here, it will all come down to that final 100 miles from the finish where it goes light. We have to set ourselves up for that position in the next day or so, the weather models aren’t helping one little bit and it wouldn’t surprise me if the fleet gravitate towards each other.”
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
The current low pressure system will provide fast days ahead for CAMPER, clocking up speeds in excess of 20 knots as they work to close the gap on Puma and Abu Dhabi and defend the third spot from the boats behind. At present the boats are expected to arrive into Lisbon on Thursday 31st May.

Position report 1300 UTC (25/05/12)
Abu DhabiOcean Racing- DTF 1304nm
Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG +63.2 nm
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand +83.1 nm
Team Sanya + 87.5 nm
Groupama Sailing Team + 91.1 nm
Team Telefonica + 93.1nm


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