Volvo Ocean Race- Sleepless nights and long hours for Camper + Video

Skipper Chris Nicholson with Puma just to windward from Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race©

Camper is seeking a pot of gold to the east, after a week of frustration in boat-breaking conditions on Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The going has been extremely tough in an east-moving low-pressure trough of unstable weather that has battered the fleet, while numerous sail changes and constant manoeuvring has resulted in very little sleep for the exhausted crew

On day four of leg two the sleepless nights and tactical challenges continued for Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand as they remained in the final grips of a challenging trough and attempted to pick up an elusive approaching front.

It has been a punishing 24 hours for Camper with the unstable weather conditions and winds going from 5 knots to 25 knots in minutes making for countless sail changes and an exhausted crew. The extremely variable conditions are making for frustrating sailing and a leadership board that in many ways remains wide open.

Camper is currently the most eastern boat in the fleet and is sitting 73 miles behind race leader Telefonica who has chosen a route much further to the north. No boat has yet managed to exit the weather trough that has had the fleet in its grip for the last few days and all are still in a race to see who will pick up the approaching front in the best shape.

All teams are still waiting to see what tactical gamble will work out best in the race to get north and up the Indian Ocean.

Camper's skipper Chris Nicholson remains confident that Camper's positioning will pay off.

'All our models and data are suggesting that this is still the best position to be in the long-term and will pay off when it comes to heading north.

'It is an extremely complex and challenging weather situation though and one that is changing by the hour. We’ve all taken a gamble here and the reality is it’s going to pay off for some of us and not for others.

'At the moment though this remains anyone’s race and we’re determined to make it ours. The amount of effort the guys have been putting in over the last few days is just outstanding.

'This would have to be one of the most intense periods of racing I’ve experienced.'

Camper in the latest position report at 1400h 16 December NZT is averaging 16.8 knots in a 15 knot south westerly.