Team New Zealand's Camper has made a solid start, bound for Miami at the start of leg six of the Volvo Ocean Race.
In a 10 knot southeasterly as the fleet left Itajai, Brazil, Camper was third heading out to sea after the in-shore aspect of the course.
Ahead lays a 4800 nautical mile, 14 day race up the South American coast, through the Doldrums and into the Caribbean, before a final 1300 nm sprint across the Gulf of Mexico to Miami.
"This leg may look like a simple reaching race to Miami from the outside but, believe me, the reality is very different,'' Camper skipper Chris Nicholson said. ``This is a tactically challenging leg and requires a lot of thought on how to best position the boat. If you can get set-up to the east of the fleet you should be able to get more pressure and a better angle than the rest of the guys.''
With 30 points on offer for the leg winner and only 25 points separating the top three boats, Camper are on the hunt for their first offshore victory and determined to make up for the disappointment of the last leg.
"We've had an amazingly tough month and got here with very little preparation time, but everybody seems to have actually stepped up a notch because of that,'' Nicholson said.
"We've had a great pro-am day, a solid in-port result and are now fired up for a good race to Miami.''
In contrast to previous legs the fleet are in for a relatively moderate opening night at sea with 15 to 20 knot reaching conditions forecast.
Nicholson said the team was just pleased to be back racing, and they were looking forward to what is shaping up to be a challenging leg.
"There's a great feeling among the guys and morale is possibly at an all-time high, so we're really looking forward to getting out there and getting back into some proper ocean racing.''