Yachting: Camper's odyssey over

Adam Minoprio, Daryl Wislang, Tony Rae, Chris Nicholson onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo / Hamish Hooper
Adam Minoprio, Daryl Wislang, Tony Rae, Chris Nicholson onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo / Hamish Hooper

Camper finally completed their epic journey on leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race and, crucially, picked up 15 points that catapulted them back up to third on the overall leaderboard.

The Emirates Team New Zealand boat finished nearly 11 days after leg winner Puma and seven days behind Groupama in third but Camper skipper Chris Nicholson believes their efforts to repair their boat and finish the leg were worth it.

"It's a valuable 15 points we'll get,'' he said. "We won't even know how valuable those points are until the end in Galway, but I have a feeling they're vital.

"I am very proud of the whole team. I think in previous races some other teams would not have done what we needed to do to get the points. Yes, adversity makes a team stronger and we are stronger than ever.

"It has been incredibly hard on all the guys, but just giving up and pulling out of the leg was never an option for us. We were determined to finish the leg and get the points for fourth place. We've done that and we've kept ourselves in the top three overall and in the hunt.

"There's almost half of this race still to go and after some rest we're going to come out fighting for the in-port on Saturday. This has made us more determined than ever before to win the next in-port, win the next leg and ultimately do our best to win the race.''

Camper made a detour to the Chilean port of Puerto Montt for five days to fix structural damage to their bow. Abu Dhabi also suffered damage and pulled into Puerto Montt but are shipping their boat to Itajai, Brazil, in the hope of getting it ready in time for the next in-port racing and sixth leg.

Camper don't have much time to recover.

After a month at sea, the crew now have 24 hours off to rest and catch up with family and friend before beginning preparations for the in-port race on April 21, and the start of the sixth leg to Miami the following day.

The Camper shore crew immediately swung into action on the boat's arrival, and chief on their long list of tacks was completely removing the mast and rig for a full check-over.

- APNZ

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