Volvo Ocean Race- Camper slides to the back of the fleet + Video

Skipper Chris Nicholson and navigator Wil Oxley look a the conditions ahead, onboard Camper during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal.
Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race©

Camper lost precious miles on Wednesday evening, giving up their southerly position to dodge an area of light wind as Telefónica closed to within two miles of Leg 7 frontrunners Groupama.

Chris Nicholson’s men on Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand had been following a course 50 miles south west of Groupama sailing team but were forced to head north to avoid a ridge of high pressure that would have seen them slow to a halt.

The move has proved costly for the team, who just two days ago were lying in second, relegating them to sixth place, more than 80 miles behind the leaders at 1900 UTC.

'The scenario right now is that a couple of the guys are trying to get through the high pressure,' Camper helmsman Tony Rae said.

'The weather is not exactly as forecasted so we’ve had to get ourselves up a bit to enable us to do the same. We had to take quite a big loss to get back into the pressure.



'It’s something we’ll have to chip away at but there’s a long way to go yet, over 2,500 miles, so we’re really trying to set ourselves up for the next few days and see we’ll see what happens.'

Meanwhile, overall race leaders Telefónica continued their assault on their French rivals Groupama narrowing the gap to just 1.5 miles and travelling more than two knots quicker as the two crews closed in on one another.

Third-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing had another successful day chasing the leading pair and at 1900 were trailing by just 19 miles, averaging speeds of more than 19 knots, the fastest in the fleet.

Around 70 miles from the leaders, Team Sanya, in fifth, gained two miles on fourth-placed Puma Ocean Racing, winners of the previous two offshore legs.
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