Emirates Team NZ- Nico’s Blog- A hectic first week in Alicante

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson, arrives in the start city of Alicante, where they will continue training for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race)
Volvo Ocean Race/Paul Todd©

Camper sailed by Emirates Team NZ and Volvo Ocean Race skipper Chris Nicholson updates on the first week of buildup in Alicante:

It has been great watching from half a world away the team’s jump into social media. I figured that I can’t let Dalts show the rest of us up, so here is my first shot at blogging. This will be a regular occurrence so please give me your feedback, tell me what you like, don’t like, would like to see more of and know more about.

Chris Nicholson, Skipper, Camper sailed by Emirates Team NZ
Well it has been a hectic first week in Alicante. After arriving at the end of our European tour the boat was hauled out immediately and we went straight into our final date with the http://etnzblog.com/2011/10/race-policeman-runs-his-ruler-over-camper/!rules_‘policeman’ in order to get the boat signed-off. Five days later and we are just now getting towards the end of that intense process.

Thanks to the amazing work of our shore team and also our designers, we have hit our weight target, draught, 40 degree keel cant and out float exactly as we had planned for. Everything was within a 1 mm tolerance and we are tracking well for final sign-off.

Best of all we’ve also managed to actually get in some time in on the water for inshore training. This last month is traditionally busy for all sorts of reasons; multiple briefings, medic training, media training, measurement commitments and media obligations. So it is a real breath of fresh air to actually get out sailing and do what we’re here to do.

There will be even more time for that in the next few days as starting on Friday at 3.00pm in Alicante we have the start of ‘leg 0’. This is a practice run for the race organisers plus a compulsory test of our safety procedures such as man overboard, emergency steering and the use of our storm sails. We will be sailing from Alicante to Palma and back which is approximately 360nm.

The sponsors fine product - Camper en route to Alicante - September 2011
In theory ‘leg 0’ is a practice but we all know when you put competitive people together you end up in a full blown race. Onboard CAMPER we will be slightly limited in this as we will not be taking some of our race sails, but we will still be giving it our best shot and I expect us to gain some valuable testing.

There should be constant tracking on the Volvo web site plus Hamish will be providing regular reporting from the boat so keep an eye on the Volvo and ETNZ sites.

There is a huge build up happening here due to the fact we have never lined up with another Volvo 70, and this will be the first time all six entries have been on the same start line. This will be worth watching.

Talk soon, Nico

For more from Emirates Team NZ see www.etnzblog.com or for their list of sites www.emiratesteamnz.com or their America's Cup page http://www.americascup.com/en/Teams/Emirates-Team-New-Zealand/Latest!click_here