by Stefano Blin
In the Volvo Ocean Race, the crew aboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand were in a positive frame of mind on Tuesday as the boat pushed on towards Puerto Montt to repair damage sustained in the Southern Ocean.
The 2,000 Miles to Chile party on CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil.
Temporary repairs have stabilised the bow section and the boat is less than 2000 nautical miles from the Chilean port and sailing in moderate weather. The calmer conditions have enabled the exhausted crew to catch up on some much-needed sleep while a replacement bulkhead and replacement longitudinals (hull supports) are due to be flown to Chile from Auckland on Friday.
'Life onboard is more or less back to normal and we are able to push the boat much harder than in the previous 35-50 knots of breeze,' said Nicholson.
Meanwhile shoreside Camper Shore Manager Neil 'Coxy' Cox is aiming for a quick pit-stop in Chile so the team can resume racing and claim some valuable points by finishing Leg 5 in Itajai.
'We have been in regular touch with Coxy and the shore team and they are getting everything together so that we can have a quick turnaround in Puerto Montt,' Nicholson said. 'Everything that we have done to date: destination, time and logistics all have to mesh as a package and work together, so fingers crossed that it will work and we can get back out in the race.'
'When you are working with very capable people with that attitude and desire they just make it work, which is good for us. Up to about four days ago Coxy and the shore crew were having time off. Now they are just jumping at trying to help get us back going again.'
Nicholson stressed that they were still mindful of the volatile Southern Ocean conditions and would not be throwing caution to the wind.
'Puerto Montt from here is a bit over seven or eight days away. It is hostile part of the world weather-wise and we have to keep that in mind,' he said 'It is still a big expanse of water but the routing looks pretty good at the moment, so hopefully everything goes to plan.'
Volvo Ocean Race website