Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CAMPER Looking For A Window Of Opportunity - CAMPER Update - Volvo Ocean Race

Rob ‘Salty’ Salthouse is eyeing the chance to close the gap on the leading pack on Leg 7, despite seeing his CAMPER team slip back down a compressing fleet in conditions less favourable to their boat.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
The CAMPER yacht, currently lying in fifth place, excels in downwind sailing rather than the current hard-reaching conditions that is benefiting rivals Telefónica and Groupama. However, an area of light air directly ahead could stall the frontrunners and allow CAMPER back into the contest, as long as they choose the fastest route through it.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
“We’re slowly coming into this ridge that is just off the coast. We’re compressing in on the front guys and it’s all to play for,” Salty said on Wednesday (May 30). “We’ve probably still got a couple of hundred miles of reaching to go and boats like Groupama, which have again shown their speed in those conditions, will be hard to hold off. But hopefully we can get enough of a jump to be in the right position and hold that off”
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
Salty admitted his sixth Atlantic crossing has been full of surprises.

“It’s been very up and down and obviously the weather has played a huge part in that right from the start,” he said. “This is the sixth Atlantic crossing for me and it has been extremely different from every other one I’ve done. The seas have been extremely flat, and it has been extremely tricky the way the weather systems have moved or haven’t moved in some cases. It’s been bizarre, and you’ve seen that in the position changes on the race course.”
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
Skipper Chris Nicholson believes negotiating the ridge of light air will be the key to success with less than 500 nautical miles to Lisbon.

“It depends on who picks the right spot and is first to wobble through,”Nicholson said. “Anyone who makes a mistake ahead won’t have a chance to recover.”
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
In the 1300 UTC position report Abu Dhabi’s lead over Groupama had been reduced to 13.60 nautical miles, with a little over 35 nm separating second place from sixth.


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