by Lucy Harwood
Rearranging the sail stack onboard Camper
Camper have under 300 miles remaining on Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race.
While second place looks more certain by the hour, the Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand crew will be pleased to hear the news that they posted the biggest distance of the leg so far in the 24 hours from 1755 UTC on Wednesday as they blasted east through the South Atlantic riding a cold front.
Camper’s 24-hour run of 554.16 nautical miles may have fallen short of the world record but it could be good enough to take the first IWC Speed Record Challenge trophy. Their distance puts them in contention for the award, sponsored by the Volvo Ocean Race’s Official Timekeeper IWC Schaffhausen.
Conditions are expected to build over the next 12 hours as Camper makes their final approach into Cape Town. The current ETA is for 0700 local time (GMT+2) Sunday 27th November.
Day 21 - One more day to go
I think the highlight to my day today were a couple of massive albatross’ graciously following and circling the boat for most of the afternoon. An awesome sight you could just watch for hours. Now, I’m no twitcher but they truly are magnificent birds. The other highlight was putting new batteries in my headlight- it was quite a revelation having been scrambling in the dark for a couple of days and nights.
We have slowly been edging our way to Cape Town- well it seems that way right now. Three weeks of sailing from Spain to South Africa, has gone relatively quickly, but now that we are so close, less than 500 miles, it all seems to have slowed down considerably and taking forever to actually get there. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that after doing such massive speeds and miles the past few days, we eventually got passed over by the low front.
It feels like we are in any normal sailing boat that miles take considerably longer to do, even though we are still doing 17-20 knots. Perhaps it’s just that I let the excitement of everything that is waiting in Cape Town get the better of me too soon. Still another 24 hours to go, which right now seems like forever.
Everyone though is still entirely focused on getting Camper across the finish line as fast as possible. This hasn’t changed since we crossed the start line. An example of this today- the wind had eased to around 12 knots, I came up on deck to find Stu Bannatyne saturated with icy cold water and the others all bone dry, I asked what the hell had he been up to he answered, 'I’ve been on the foredeck Hamish; Rust never sleeps, nor does the never ending search for speed.' That is as truer statement as I have ever heard when watching the 10 sailors go about their watches hour after hour for the last 21 days.
Although the finish seems like a foregone conclusion, we still have just under a Sydney to Hobart race to go, so anything can happen, and wouldn’t you know it we are expecting some pretty big weather in the final few hours before we reach Cape Town so it will be quite a frantic, wet, bumpy blast all the way to the line.
From one finish to another- this is the last burger from crewmember no.1, Tony Rae. He is a calm and calculating individual and has quietly been spending a long time thinking this one through, and today came to me with…
‘The Trae Bon’
Large white burger bun (Lightly toasted)
Prime 100% beef patty
2 fried eggs
Leg 1 Position Report (26/11/11 - 1600 UTC)
1 Telefonica - Distance to finish 34.8 miles
2 Camper + 245.7 miles
3 Groupama + 862.2 miles
Abu Dhabi - Retired from leg 1
Sanya - Retired from leg 1
Puma - Retired Leg 1
How to follow the Camper team:
Flickr: Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand photostream
You Tube: www.youtube.com/Camper