by Lucy Harwood
Volvo Ocean Race entry Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand's marathon Leg 5 journey, that started in Auckland 30 days ago, is over. Camper finally arrived in Itajai, Brazil at 12:35:44 GMT on Tuesday (April 17).
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand have arrived in Itajai, Brazil - Leg 5 Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
The crew had to sail an estimated 3000 plus extra miles compared with their rivals – meaning a total of over 9,000 miles for the leg - after diverting to Chile for repairs to the boat’s damage bow after suffering structural damage in brutal Southern Ocean conditions.
Camper’s gallant effort in reaching the Leg 5 finish line saw them collect 15 valuable points and reclaim third place on the leaderboard.
Skipper Chris Nicholson lauded praise on his team for digging deep to finally get over the line after a month at sea.
'It’s about how resilient the team is,' he said. ' They just stood up and got on with the job, so I’m proud of the effort of the whole team.'
Tony Rae was delighted that the team stuck it out to claim 15 valuable points rather than retiring from the leg and having the boat shipped to Brazil from Chile.
'It’s been a long leg but it’s still really nice to actually sail and not have the boat on a ship,' he said. 'It’s also nice to feel that we’ve actually achieved something in getting some points for the effort.'
Stu Bannatyne echoed the sentiments of his Camper team-mate.
'Through all the trials and tribulations we’ve had on this leg and to still end up with fourth place and 15 points – that’s what this race is all about, gathering points as best you can,' he said. 'No points come easy in this race and this leg has been a classic example of that. We’ve had to fight pretty hard and work hard – the sailing team and the shore team - to get here and collect these points, so there’s an immense feeling of satisfaction.'
Despite having little time to rest, Bannatyne insisted the team would be as competitive as ever in Saturday’s in-port race.
'Our next race is on Saturday, and that’s enough time to get ready and get the essential work done,' he said. 'At the end of the day we’ll come out racing with no excuses not to do well.'
Audio interview with Chris Nicholson:
Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand website
Volvo Ocean Race website