Sunday, June 10, 2012

CAMPER Start Strong - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Lisbon once again provided the Volvo Ocean Race with a spectacular back drop as the six-boat fleet started Leg 8, a 1,940-mile race between the Portuguese capital and Lorient, France. The route will see the crews head east from Lisbon to the Azores, where they will tackle the Azores High. The fleet will then head north east, through the Bay of Biscay and onto the finish in Lorient, which predicted to be just six days from now.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
Speaking on the dock this morning, CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson said, "It all looks pretty quick, some people are saying five days, but I think realistically it looks like six days, either way it is shaping up to be a fairly quick trip.”
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
“In terms of the forecast, there is a little reaching out to the Azores and then we should see some compression once we get there and tackle the big high that is sitting right over the top of it. One would prefer to be in the lead as you break through Azores High, but after that it will depend on how you deal with this low pressure system at the end. We haven't seen these boats running in much more than 30 knots before, so we should see lots of breeze into Lorient, which suits us well.”
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
The points remain incredibly tight at the top, the misfortune of Telefónica yesterday in the InPort race has seen Groupama extend their overall lead but CAMPER are now closer to third placed Puma who are just ten points ahead of them.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
"We've got a great team out here and we're going to push and fight for this all the way to the finish in Galway. We have faith on our ability and faith in our boat and we are looking forward to a good leg. If we get a big low pressure system into Lorient then it will all be game on for everybody. We will see winds in excess of 30 to 35 knots. If that happens, and I hope it does, then you could see a very upsetting leg for some teams and conditions that we relish,” Nicholson said.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
A short course along the Tagus River saw CAMPER excel in the difficult conditions as they battled with Puma for the lead, the breeze became light and shifty as the two boats approached the first mark, Puma slipping ahead as CAMPER found the wind gate closed and were forced to find another route ahead.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Both boats rounded the first mark with a healthy lead on those chasing behind, Telefónica and Groupama brought up the rear of the fleet some eight minutes behind the front runners. After the 11-mile course the fleet disappeared over the horizon, CAMPER had closed to within 200 metres, with Groupama 2.4nm behind in sixth.

The fleet are expected to complete the 1,940 nm in six days, arriving into Lorient on Saturday 16 June.

CAMPER Press

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