Camper skipper Chris Nicholson is looking forward to the final phase of leg three of the Volvo Ocean Race and a chance to close the gap on the frontrunners.

Camper is fourth but only 14 nautical miles behind first-placed Telefonica and Nicholson said the 1200nm beat up the South China Sea to Sanya should suit his crew and boat.

"We're pretty confident in our performance both upwind and in more robust conditions, so with less than 20 miles between us and first place and 1000 miles of upwind work ahead of us in some pretty tough looking weather there's plenty left to play for," he said.

"It's fair to say that Malacca Straits didn't treat us kindly so we've got a point to prove and this final stage is our opportunity.


"We've done plenty of hard windward work in Camper so we're not fazed by that and can't wait for some good ocean sailing again and the opportunity to pull in those last remaining miles."

Camper had led during the early stages of the leg before drifting back in the Malacca Straits.