by Thomas Pryor
Stuart Bannatyne and Adam Minoprio on watch as Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand pass into the ’furious fifties’ on their way South to Cape Horn during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil.
Camper sailed by an Emirates Team New Zealand crew is heading south at speed as the team makes good progress towards Cape Horn in strong running conditions.
For much of the past 24 hours Camper has been averaging boat speeds of around 20 knots as it runs south in a 20 to 25 knot north westerly breeze. The team are expected to round Cape Horn early on Wednesday morning NZT as they race to say ahead of a strong low pressure system that is developing behind them.
Once they are around Cape Horn Camper will be able to head north, and if they can stay in front of the low pressure system a fast trip to Itajai should be ensured with a current estimated time of arrival of April 16/17th (Sail-World: By our calculations, late on the 16th April or early hours of 17th April NZT).
Camper skipper Chris Nicholson says that conditions are looking good for a quick rounding of Cape Horn and trip north.
'It’s not as bad or as hard as what people think. Certainly the next eight days we’re looking at to get to Itajaí, they’re a lot easier than the eight or nine days it took us to get to Puerto Montt when we broke the boat.
'We’ll still have 30 to 40 knots, so it’s still very windy in anyone’s books. It’s all running conditions though and then once we’ve passed the Horn there’ll be a lot of tight reaching.
'But all in all it’s all looking pretty good. We need to get around the Horn reasonably fast, there is a lot of breeze coming so hopefully we can stay in front of all that.
'We will back off a little bit but the boat is in perfect working order so we’re able to run it in full race trim. The incentive for us here is to get a fourth place and get valuable points so we are very focused on pushing the boat as hard as possible.
'Everyone is really looking forward to getting to Cape Horn, hopefully we can just get north before the breeze hits.'
Camper in the latest position report at 1500h 10 April NZT is sailing at 19 knots in a 18.5 knot north westerly.