Rival boats will have finished leg by the time Team NZ are able to leave Chile
The crew on board Team New Zealand's around-the-world entry Camper could be enjoying their last days off for a month as the shore crew go to work repairing their crippled yacht in Chile.
The Camper crew arrived in the Chilean port of Puerto Montt yesterday morning faced with repairs to the boat's bow section, which was damaged eight days into leg five from Auckland to Brazil.
After Camper docked just after 11am, the waiting shore crew got straight to work, diving to examine the yacht and beginning a full ultrasound survey of the hull to check that there is no further unseen damage.
All going well, the repair job is expected to take three to four days with Camper aiming to resume racing to Itajai, Brazil, at some stage over the weekend.
By then the leading pack of Puma, Groupama and Telefonica are expected to have already finished the leg.
Once the repairs are completed, Camper will rejoin the race from the point just off Chile where they officially suspended racing on Tuesday. From there they have over 2000 nautical miles to sail to Itajai, which could take them over a week, leaving them with a very tight turnaround in Brazil before they set sail on leg six to Miami.
Skipper Chris Nicholson said his crew needed to make the most of the enforced layover as it could be their last opportunity to rest up for quite some time.
"We have had an extraordinary 17 days since the start of this leg. So now it's time for the guys to sit down, relax, have a steak and a beer and refocus for the race ahead.
"The reality is that these few days are probably going to be the only down time the guys will have for the next month so it's vital they get as refreshed as possible."
The Australian skipper said that after a long, hazardous journey to Chile, the crew were relieved to finally be in port and to have the race to resume leg five properly underway.
"If you think back to when we first did the damage, we were 2500nm away from port and getting repairs started. So we've already completed a massive journey just getting here and it's great to have the first stage of this marathon completed," said Nicholson.
"We're the worst delivery crew in the world and there was a bit of cabin fever setting in so it's a relief to have that aspect behind us and now we can refocus on getting back into the game."By Dana Johannsen Email Dana