by Thomas Pryor
Skipper Chris Nicholson checks the progress of repairs made to Camper in Puerto Montt, Chile, during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil.
Day Two of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand’s pit stop in Puerto Montt has seen further good progress made on repairing the boat’s damaged bow section.
The shore crew has continued their mammoth effort and now worked for 48 hours effectively without a break. The focus on Day Two has been on gluing in and bonding the replacement bulkhead and longitudinals to the boat’s hull.
This process is expected to be completed by mid-afternoon today (April 6) NZT, and the shore crew will then turn to the final stage of the repair job which involves curing or effectively blowing hot air over the affected areas for up to 24 hours in order to set the resin.
All going well the team is aiming to leave Puerto Montt on the afternoon of Saturday April 7 NZT and begin the 12 hour motor down to the entrance of the waterway that leads to Puerto Montt where racing can resume.
Camper skipper Chris Nicholson says that the repair job is going as smoothly as he could have hoped for.
'Everything is going really well. One thing with our guys is that their speed and quality is second to none. All the parts are in and being taped or bonded in as we speak, then we just have to have a curing time where we heat the boat to 60 degrees or so and cook everything off and then we’re ready to go.
'With this repair job there is no cutting corners and it just has to be 100% before we leave and I know our guys are working as hard as they can to achieve this.
'When a programme runs smoothly the work of the shore team often goes unnoticed by the wider world, but when something goes wrong as in this case and they step up to the plate in such an impressive fashion it’s clear to everyone how good they are.
'I’m absolutely certain lesser teams would be on a ship at this stage of proceedings, so as skipper I’m really proud of the way everyone is dealing with the situation and rising to the occasion. It certainly makes us much stronger as a team.'