It was a faultless performance from Chris Nicholson and his crew onboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand today in Auckland for the Volvo Ocean race In-Port race.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand by the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the Auckland In-Port Race, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.
The fleet headed out in perfect 15 knot north easterly conditions for the windward leeward course in Waiatama Harbour.
A great start off the line saw Camper dominate the fleet, as the headed towards the wall of the commercial port, riding the wall to the very last moment before tacking onto to make the crucial first cross over Puma. At the first mark they held a 130 metre lead, pushing hard downwind under the famous harbour bridge to the millpond that awaited the fleet at the bottom mark. After heading back under the harbour bridge Camper never looked back, with the rich getting richer and the fleet left to battle it out for the remaining places.
An elated crew crossed the finish line with an 54 second lead over second placed Puma, speaking onboard a jubilant skipper Chris Nicholson said, 'Is it the monkey off our back? Possibly.
'The one thing we have said all week, how do we help and thank everyone who supported us since the beginning. It has been a huge week of support and it’s helped. The race was good, we stuck to the plan, we worked hard on it in Sanya, we had Joey and Rod (our coaches) there to help get our heads back in the game. We didn’t prove it then and hope today made up for it.
'The guys were into it, the whole effort is something to be very proud of. Absolutely we’ve been after this for a long time, it feels like the flick of a switch.'
Auckland In Port Race results
1 CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (60 min 38 sec)
2 PUMA Ocean Racing powered by Berg (+0.54) 5pts
3 Groupama (1.26) 4pts
4 Team Saya (+2.20)
5 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (+2.52) 2pts
6 Telefonica (3.27) 1pts
The fleet followed by spectator boats during the In-Port Race in Auckland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.