Yachting: Camper look for every advantage

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.

Camper are focusing on taking advantage of every wind-shift and wave as the Miami finishing line looms for the leaders of the Volvo Ocean Race.

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.

"What you have to do is make sure that every single puff, every single wave is made the most of," Camper skipper Chris Nicholson said.

Camper has taken a shortcut through a tiny channel on the small Caribbean island of Anguilla in the Lesser Antilles.

"Will [Oxley, Camper's navigator] spotted a small little gap on the chart about 250 metres wide. Not much of it was navigable but we went through there in a straight line at about 20 knots.

"You never can tell how important saving those miles might be later. That was a five-mile saving and you just have to chase every one of those that you can."

"Right now, all bets are off," said Puma skipper Ken Read.

"There is a serious game of roulette going on out here. This is going to be a battle right to the very end."

After several days of fast sailing, the fleet stalled in light airs in the Caribbean Sea with speeds plummeting to as low as two knots. But with new breeze expected to arrive in the coming hours, the battle to reach the Miami finish line was set to restart with a vengeance.

"I think the first team to stick their nose into the fresh breeze will get a jump on the fleet," Read added. "That is definitely a goal of ours."

The winning boat is expected to arrive in Miami on Wednesday.

- APNZ

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