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.
Grant Dalton meeting the media after the Legends Regatta
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