Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Chris Nicholson reflects on a tough first week for Camper

by etnzblog.com on 14 Nov 2011
Skipper Chris Nicholson and trimmer Rob Salthouse in control of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race©

Camper skipper, Chris Nicholson reflects on the first week of the Volvo Ocean Race and the highs and lows faced by the Emirates Team NZ crewed entry.

Hi all

Well we always knew that this was going to be a tough race and the first week has left this in no doubt. Conditions have been extreme and taken their toll, but at the same time some poor decisions on our behalf have made things even tougher than they need to be.

It is fair to say that to date this has been anything but a typical leg one. The 20-40 knot conditions for the first day were boat breaking conditions and this was vividly demonstrated with Abu Dhabi’s dismasting and Sanya’s hull damage. I’ve been in that position before and my thoughts really go out to the guys on both boats – it’s not a nice place to be.

From Camper’s perspective I was really pleased with our performance in those first 24 hours. Both boat and crew came through it well and it was nice to take a moderate lead into the Atlantic.

However, some indecisiveness on our behalf resulted in us failing to capitalise on that lead and slipping back to last as the fleet made its way south. There’s no doubt we made a bad decision and it’s frustrating as all hell but it was a tough situation to call.


As we left the Med is was a borderline decision whether to go west or stick inshore. Initially it looked like the best option was to try and make for the dying trade winds on the African coast, but in the end we had to modify the game plan and go west. This put us on the back foot with Telefonica and Puma and we’ve been playing catch-up ever since.

Nobody on this boat likes being at the back of the fleet. We know that as a team we’re much better than that and we’re 100% focused on fighting our way back up the leaderboard. The approach to the doldrums offers some potential passing lanes and we’re determined to identify those and make the most of them. There are a lot of miles left in this leg and we’re determined to get back into it.

Watch this space.

Talk soon.

Nico

Barz Optics - FloatersNorth Technology - Southern SparsNaiad

Related Articles

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ welcome Optimist Nationals fleet
ETNZ sailing team popped down to the Kohimarama Yacht Club to give to the Toyota NZ Optimist Nationals fleet a hand Emirates Team New Zealand sailing team popped down to the Kohimarama Yacht Club to give to the Toyota NZ Optimist Nationals fleet a hand at the end of the regatta. The Team welcomed the 258 young Opti sailors back after the finish of the Nationals.
Posted on 1 Apr
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ remain on top of LVACWS leaderboard
Emirates Team New Zealand have maintained their lead on top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Emirates Team New Zealand have maintained their lead on top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series after an exhaustive two days of close light air racing in Muscat, Oman. Emirates Team New Zealand and Ben Ainslie Racing were the only teams to win two races each out of the six after Glenn Ashby and crew won the first race of the day again.
Posted on 28 Feb
America's Cup- Emirates Team NZ holds foiling camp in Bay of Islands
Emirates Team NZ's sailing team got together as a full group for the first time of the AC35 campaign on foiling Moths The Emirates Team New Zealand sailing team got together as a full group for the first time of the AC35 campaign for an intensive week sailing in the exciting foiling Moth yachts. It was also an opportunity to begin the process of planning and plotting the next America's Cup challenge.
Posted on 4 Nov 2014
Extreme Sailing Series- Emirates Team NZ slips to fifth at Nice
The Extreme Sailing Series focus shifts now to Sydney – the last event in the 2014 season – where all the questions will The Extreme Sailing Series focus shifts now to Sydney – the last event in the 2014 season – where all the questions will be answered. Only four days of racing remain this year with five teams – Alinghi, The Wave, Muscat, Emirates Team New Zealand, Realteam and J.P. Morgan BAR – capable of a top-three position.
Posted on 6 Oct 2014
Extreme Sailing Series- Light and tight for Emirates Team NZ in Nice
It was very light and very tricky for the first day of the seventh round of Extreme Sailing Series at Nice. It was very light and very tricky for the first day of the seventh round of Extreme Sailing Series at Nice. With Peter Burling back on the helm for the first time since June, Emirates Team New Zealand started slowly as Burling and Olympian team mate Blair Tuke settled in.
Posted on 3 Oct 2014
Extreme Sailing Series- Burling and Tuke back on board for Nice Act
The Extreme Sailing Series event in Istanbul seems to have only just finished, but already the containers are in the Vil The Extreme Sailing Series event in Istanbul seems to have only just finished, but already the containers are in the Ville de Nice set to gear up for this weeks penultimate regatta. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are back onboard this week, fresh from their 49er World Championship win and looking to make it two wins from two events for Emirates Team New Zealand on the ‪Extreme Sailing Series
Posted on 29 Sep 2014
Extreme Sailing- Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
The stage is set for a thrilling but nerve-wracking final day tomorrow of the sixth round of Extreme Sailing Series at I The stage is set for a thrilling but nerve-wracking final day tomorrow of the sixth round of Extreme Sailing Series at Istanbul. It’s tight at the top but with a possible eight races, the last one scoring double points, there’s every chance the leader board could be in for a massive shakeup.
Posted on 14 Sep 2014
Extreme Sailing Series- Team NZ share lead after Day 1 in Istanbul
Consistency. That’s what Dean Barker wanted on the first day of racing of the Extreme Sailing Series’ Istanbul round. Consistency. That’s what Dean Barker wanted on the first day of racing of the Extreme Sailing Series’ Istanbul round. That’s what he got. As he said after practice yesterday, 'consistency will be rewarded'; Emirates Team New Zealand finished the first day at the top of the leader board with 46 points, equal with defending series champion, the Wave, Muscat.
Posted on 12 Sep 2014
Emirates Team NZ- Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom
There was good and not-so-good for Emirates Team New Zealand on the final day of the Extreme Sailing Series Cardiff rega There was good and not-so-good for Emirates Team New Zealand on the final day of the Extreme Sailing Series Cardiff regatta. By the end of the day Dean Barker and crew found themselves in unfamiliar territory – 11th on the Cardiff leader board, even after a great second place in the double-points last race.
Posted on 26 Aug 2014
Emirates Team NZ- Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff
Another frustrating time for Emirates Team New Zealand on Day 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series. Another frustrating time for Emirates Team New Zealand on Day 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series. The day started with the hearing into yesterday’s collision, resulting in the team being awarded average points for the three races missed because of it.
Posted on 25 Aug 2014