Camper's bold decision to head north away from the rest of the fleet in search of better breeze has paid off, with the Team New Zealand boat now only two nautical miles off the lead in the seventh leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Camper have worked their way through the fleet to be third but only 2.1 miles behind leaders Abu Dhabi and 0.3 miles behind Telefonica.

Telefonica, the overall leaders, are the most southerly of all the boats and scrambling to join the rest of the fleet to avoid losing too much ground.

The rest of the fleet gybed to cover Camper's move and all six boats are soon expected to be compressed as they enter another tricky phase of weather. All missed a southerly front they hoped would slingshot them towards Lisbon, forcing them to head north in search of better breeze and to avoid a large area of high pressure.


With more than 2000 miles still to go to Lisbon, the race remains wide open.

"We took a couple of big shifts to the north on the remains of tropical storm Alberto that were still around, so we got a bit of a shove from that," Camper navigator Will Oxley said. "Right now we should be in 12 knots of wind and we are in 22. But it's still a pretty confused situation. We're back in touch with the leaders though and that's where we want to be.

"This could be anybody's race so we just need to sail smart, maximise boat speed and do what we can to wriggle in front and stay there."