Yachting: Gamble continues for Camper

The finish of leg six is likely to be a tight one. With just under 1000 nautical miles remaining, Puma hold a slim lead over Camper, with Telefonica third. Photo / Hamish Hooper.
The finish of leg six is likely to be a tight one. With just under 1000 nautical miles remaining, Puma hold a slim lead over Camper, with Telefonica third. Photo / Hamish Hooper.

The light airs lottery is set to continue for Team New Zealand's Camper as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet heads towards another large windless zone.

The last 24 hours has seen the boats making steady progress in moderate reaching conditions, but that is set to be replaced by a light and variable breeze that could reshuffle the leaderboard before the final sprint from the Bahamas to Miami.

After two weeks of racing, Puma, Camper and Telefonica continue to battle it out at the front of the pack, and with 600 nautical miles to go to Miami there is only 40 nautical miles separating the three boats.

The looming breeze hole will most likely compress the fleet even further, opening up opportunities for all the boats - including the trailing Groupama and Abu Dhabi.

The tricky conditions have seen Camper and Telefonica engaged in an epic battle over the last 72 hours, with only a few miles separating the two boats and the lead changing several times a day as they slug it out for second place.

Camper navigator Will Oxley said the race for leg six has a long way to go yet.

"We have a drag race for probably the next 200 miles, and then it starts to get really light again,'' he said. "There is a big high over the Bahamas, the front-runners will sail into it and slow up, so we will start again there. There is an awful long way to go in this yacht race yet.

"The next few days as we transition through this big hole will most likely determine the race so it's going to be very interesting to see how it plays out. The race is still wide open.''

- APNZ

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