by Thomas Pryor
Crew onboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.
On Day 16 of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand has made further small gains and is preparing for the heavy weather associated with an imminent southerly front.
The cold front that Camper along with the rest of the fleet expects to pick up in the next few days should deliver robust sailing conditions with winds of more than 30 knots and boat speeds averaging 25 knots.
Camper remains in third place but has gained almost 50 miles over the last 24 hours to be 127 miles behind race leader Telefonica.
The frontal system will rocket Camper south and into cold latitudes that will bring fast and tough racing. It is in this area that the 24 hour speed record for monohulls has been broken in the last two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Skipper Chris Nicholson says that Camper is sticking to their game plan of chipping away at the race leaders, not being to gung-ho, and taking every mile of advantage that they can get.
'We’ve had a good 24 hours and if we can ride this front in one piece and take full advantage of the boat speeds it offers then that puts us in a good position to take even more ground off Telefonica and Puma.
Adam Minoprio checks the latest Skegs which are favourable onboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Credit: Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race)
'If you’re doing 25 knots or more and the guys in front of you have had to slow down for whatever reason then you can close the gap pretty quickly.
'From our point of view the next few days offers more opportunities than we’ve seen in a while.
'It’s pretty clear that the final stages of leg one are going to be very interesting indeed and we’re taking nothing for granted until we cross that finish line in Cape Town.'
Camper in the latest position report at 1500h 21 November NZT is averaging 16.9 knots in a 15 knot north easterly.