Team New Zealand's Camper have continued to lead the charge northeast on day five of the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, positioning themselves for the looming trade winds.
Camper have remain in consistent breeze and are ready to capitalise when the breeze begins to shift to the north and the more consistent trade wind conditions develop. However, Groupama who are in the in the same patch of water as Camper, pose a threat as the boats begin to head further east towards the north Pacific and the eventual run down to the equator.
In the last few hours, both Camper and Telefonica, after several days of tacking upwind to the north, have tacked onto port and are now heading northeast and away from the variable conditions of the last few days.
Camper skipper Chris Nicholson said the conditions are dictating the unusual approach to the leg.
"I imagine this must be a pretty hard leg for people at home to be looking at, as we've basically been sailing in the wrong direction for the last few days. But it's all about setting ourselves up for the long game.
"We've done a good job so far and stuck to our game plan, which is all about getting east and into the trades at or near the top of the fleet. We're in a strong position at the moment and now we just need to defend it and make the most of it.
"The guys behind us are really strong in tight reaching conditions which is what we'll most likely be facing for the next few days. So it's critical how we deal with this next stage, and we need to ensure that we stay on a part of the racecourse where we have advantage over our competitors.
"We need to stay where our strengths are and not give up our advantage to our competitors, which is something I think we've been guilty of in the past. It's going to be a challenging few days but we're set for it."