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Volvo Ocean Race- Camper - playing for a draw until the Azores

by Hamish Hooper on 11 Jun 2012
Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand at the start of Leg eight from Lisbon, Portugal. Volvo Ocean race 2011-12. Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Hamish Hooper blogs from on board Camper on Day 2 of Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Lisbon to Lorient via the Azores

Its been a bit of a slow motion arm wrestle since leaving Lisbon - like a tense and closely fought first session of a cricket test where barely any runs are scored or wickets taken.

We have been reaching away toward the Azores with all of the teams within sight and trading fractions of miles back and forth.

Overnight the Puma, Groupama and Telefonica edged a few more miles out of us, and we are managing to hang in there with Abu Dhabi. The good news is that pretty much all of the boats are still within sight.

There is a sense of calm and focus around onboard since the start of the leg - perhaps it comes with the knowledge of just how fast the other boats are in these conditions and that we just have to hang tough with them as much as possible when it suits them until we get some conditions that potentially suit us more.

No need to get frustrated or upset by it, just another one of those things when sailing that you can't do too much about right now so you hang in there and sail your boat as fast as you can patiently waiting opportunity.

The realistic objective is to arrive in cooee of the others at the turning mark, when the winds become light, and we can compress back into them again, then set up for what is now looking like some very heavy downwind running to reel them in again. Latest forecast has 40 knots, which generally means we will see a few gusts in excess of that.

If we can manage this it will be massive boost.

Although I am not sure the guys need a boost, time is running short in this race, points becoming rarer that hens teeth. Everyone knows we must do the business in this leg.

It seems quite surreal to think that we only have a matter of days on the water to go until the whole race is over - not that I am not wanting it to end - I bloody cannot wait for us to reach Galway!

It just seems strange to think back to Cape Town - it doesn’t seem that long ago, but boy oh boy there have been some things happen since then.

This race is a real story of ups and downs, highs and lows, love and hate - but hate is a strong word and what’s love got to do with it anyway, so you just sail on and then it finishes.

Golden Quote: 'I would say there is a pretty high chance that we will be within eye sight of at least one boat for the entire leg. There aren’t that many options in terms of routing options to get us to the Azores. It is always important to fight for every boat length you can - you never know when you might need it.' Stu Bannatyne

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