by Thomas Pryor
Camper is unloaded ready for the restart of stage 2 of leg 2 to Abu Dhabi.
With the final part of Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race due to kick off in under 24 hours Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand is eyeing unfinished business after missing out on winners glory to Telefonica by under two minutes in the first stage of the leg.
The Volvo fleet will restart racing in Leg 2 with a 98 mile sprint along the United Arab Emirates coast from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi on the morning of 4 January 2012 GMT. With six points on offer overall leg honours are still up for grabs if Camper can secure first place and Telefonica finishes fifth.
A strong Shamal dessert wind of 20 to 30 knots is forecast and combined with the short, sharp course an intense battle is likely down the coast with the fleet expected to finish late afternoon in close proximity to each other.
The course begins with an 18 mile beat to windward followed by an 80 mile tight reach in to the finish off Abu Dhabi.
Camper skipper Chris Nicholson says it is an unforgiving course that will require teams to be on top form from the starting gun.
'We don’t see to many passing lanes out there so it’s vital that we get our sail choices spot on at the beginning and get the beat out of the way in the best shape possible. We need to get the fundamentals right as it will be very difficult on this course to work your way back into contention after a mistake or poor start.
'If we can go into that long drag race reaching down to the finish in a strong position then we’ll be happy.
'This race is of huge importance to us. 20% of the total points for Leg 2 are on the line as are overall honours for the leg. The jump that Telefonica got over us in the first part of the leg hurt and this presents an opportunity to make up for that.
'We didn’t like that narrow loss into ‘Point A’ and have identified some clear areas of improvement that we think will give us an extra edge for the race into Abu Dhabi.
'It is a difficult course but we rate our ability to do well in this type of in-port, close quarters type racing so we’ll be giving it everything we’ve got and looking to produce a top performance.
'At the very least we need a podium finish and we need to beat Telefonica and I’m confident that we have what it takes to deliver that.'
The restart of Leg 2 comes after organisers were decided to split the leg into two parts because of the heightened threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean. The boats raced to an unnamed Safe Haven before being loaded onto a ship for transportation through the worse affected areas to a point off the Sharjah coastline.