Volvo Ocean Race- Camper takes second place on Leg 1
by Volvo Ocean Race on 27 Nov 2011
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand have taken a well deserved second place in the grueling opening leg of the Volvo Ocean race from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town South Africa, completing the 6,500 nautical mile passage at 10:48:04 UTC today.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia finishes second on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com
Having performed brilliantly on the short inshore element of the course CAMPER powered away from Alicante at the head of the fleet. They survived the boat breaking conditions of the first night unscathed but an uncharacteristic navigational hesitation soon after entering the Atlantic left Nicholson’s team playing catch up from that point on.
Resisting the urge to gamble on a risky move to get them back in contention, instead Nicholson’s men kept their cool, concentrated on trying to grind down their deficit on the leaders and waited patiently for an opportunity present itself.
When the initially promising southerly strategy adopted by Franck Cammas’ Groupama sailing team, turned sour, CAMPER’s more westerly track moved them up to third, behind PUMA and Team Telefónica.
After day’s of frustrating sailing without significantly closing down the leaders, PUMA’s dismasting unexpectedly elevated CAMPER to second place and fianally gave them a chance to put Team Telefónica under pressure.
When both boats hooked into a high wind cold front heading straight for Cape Town, it was Nicholson who pushed his crew hardest, sailing flat out for days on end and clocking up 554.16 nautical miles in a 24-hour period, a performance that won them the IWC Schaffhausen Speed Record Challenge for Leg 1.
Ultimately however Telefónica’s superior positioning in relation to the cold front allowed them to cruise to victory, arriving in Cape Town at nightfall on Saturday November 26 in a time of 21 days five hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds.
Facing 35 knot winds and huge seas on their final night at sea and with their only remaining challenger, Groupama trailing by more than 500 nautical miles, CAMPER were able to reduce sail and nurse their boat to the finish.
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