In the Volvo Ocean Race, the crew of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand are heading into Stage 2 of Leg 3 well set in the second place spot overall but, with a job on their hands to coax more speed out of their boat.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia during the Etihad Airways In-Port Race in Abu Dhabi during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
In his blog on the Emirates Team New Zealand website, team CEO Greg Dalton, himself a six-time race veteran and winner of the 1981-82 and in 1993-94 editions, said closing the performance gap had become his priority.
'Honestly we aren’t going well enough,' he said. 'Some of that is a boat which is beating its numbers but under performing (against the opposition) at certain angles.
'We have improved but the reach down the coast a few days ago, especially in flat water, showed we are not fast enough,' he added.
After Camper finished third in the Etihad Airways In-Port Race in Abu Dhabi and fifth in the Leg 3 opening sprint to Sharjah, Dalton says the goal now is to claw back valuable points on the second stage of Leg 3 to Sanya, China.
'We need to turn our attention to maximising points where we can – like the in-port races and offshore, when the conditions favour the boat,' he said.
Emirates Team New Zealand are also running a parallel campaign to win the 34th America’s Cup but for the moment Dalton is concentrating on pulling back points on leaders Telefónica in the Volvo campaign.
'What I can say is as an organisation this is being treated as a priority,' Dalton said. 'The boys on board are doing a good job but as Emirates Team New Zealand we are now trying to bring more resource to the party.
'Telefónica was the only boat that had a worse result than us in the Abu Dhabi in-port then the run down the coast. At least we netted a point back on them, now seven behind in second place.
'The leg to China will start on Sunday and we need to take some points back.'
Volvo Ocean Race website