Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CAMPER Making Good Progress After Storm - Volvo Ocean Race Update

(May 22) - CAMPER’s power of recovery has been put to the test after Tropical Storm Alberto had caused havoc among the fleet in a turbulent start to Leg 7 from Miami to Lisbon.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
The lightning and gale force headwinds of 35 knots had seen Chris Nicholson and his crew relegated to fifth position after they had held second spot on day one, while Groupama’s early gybe east saw them escape the full impact of the storm and pull away from the pack.

But at 1000 UTC on Tuesday (May 22), the CAMPER team had gobbled up 10 nautical miles on the leg leader to leave them 38.40 miles off the pace.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
Skipper Nicholson is optimistic about his team’s chances of regaining the initiative.

“We seem to be crawling back a few of the miles and we’ve just got to stay in touch enough and wait for another opportunity that will hopefully arise later,” he said.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
“It should be a bit more of this pleasant running for a while, which doesn’t let itself to making big gains for anyone as such, and then hopefully there will be a little high pressure to go around before we pick up another front.”

Seasoned campaigner Stu Bannatyne believes CAMPER is well equipped to make a big impact on this leg across the Atlantic.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
“There’s plenty of action going on but I’m glad we’ve got the team that we have,” said the New Zealander competing in his sixth Volvo Ocean Race campaign and a winner on three occasions.

“We’re a tight team, a good team. All the pressure is coming on, and there are only a few legs to go and a few in-port races, and it’s very tight at the top of the table. But the strong teams should come to the fore here, and I’ve every confidence that our team can do the job on this leg.”
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
Latest weather reports are predicting Alberto will dissipate over the next 24 hours and become less organised. More twists and turns are expected on this intriguing leg, and the tricky decision of when to make the break out of the Gulf Stream to head directly for the finish in Lisbon could well be the defining point. This dilemma will no doubt keep the navigators agonising throughout the Atlantic crossing.

Despite not winning a leg, CAMPER is very much in contention for the Volvo Ocean Race trophy. Spanish rival Telefonica top the leaderboard on 165 points, but Nicholson’s men are lying in third place on 152 points and ready to pounce.

There are two more legs after Miami-Lisbon, and three more in-port races. A leg win is worth 30 points, 25 for second, 20 for third and so on, while an in-port race win is worth six points, five for second, four for third and so on.


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