Yachting: Frustrating 24 hours for Camper

It has been a frustrating 24 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race for Camper as the team fell prey to the unpredictable conditions of tropical storm Alberto. Photo / Hamish Hooper.
It has been a frustrating 24 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race for Camper as the team fell prey to the unpredictable conditions of tropical storm Alberto. Photo / Hamish Hooper.

It has been a frustrating 24 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race for Camper as the team fell prey to the unpredictable conditions of tropical storm Alberto and went from second to second to last.

At one stage Camper was stuck in a light airs zone near the centre of Cyclone Alberto and lost close to 25 nautical miles on the fleet in three hours.

However, over the last 12 hours as the effects of Alberto have weakened and as the leading boats have sailed into lighter airs Camper has fought back and there is now only 24 nautical miles separating the top four boats. However, the New Zealand boat remains ahead of only Sanya.

With a complicated weather situation ahead there are plenty of opportunities on offer. The fleet has separated laterally by around 38 nautical miles, with Telefonica taking the high road north to windward of the fleet, while Camper are to leeward, furthest south.

Camper skipper Chris Nicholson said: "At one point we lost 25 nautical miles in one schedules.

I think it's the worse schedule I've ever been involved with. What was worse was that Puma and Telefonica, who were behind us, saw us get swallowed up by one very bad cloud and were able to take the high road up and around it.

"It just doesn't pay sometimes to be in front and the guys behind us could benefit from our misfortune and stay clear.

"It's frustrating but everyone on board knows how easily these sort of things happen. Now we are clawing back some of those miles and we just need to stay in touch enough and wait for another opportunity.

"It's a complex weather situation and that means we're all still well and truly in the game. Twenty four hours ago Groupama had an almost 70 nautical mile lead, now it's almost zero, while we went from the front of the pack to the back in a few hours so it's pretty up and down out here."

- APNZ

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