CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand has narrowed the gap even further with leg leader Puma overnight, while seeing off a challenge from Telefonica for second place.
Puma is now less than five nautical miles (nm) ahead of CAMPER, and Telefonica after several hours of neck and neck sailing with CAMPER has now dropped back to be more than 10 nm off the pace.
With the fleet having rounded Recife on the north eastern corner of Brazil the teams now have a 3000 nm downwind drag race through the Caribbean Sea ahead of them.
Overnight CAMPER has also managed to get further east and offshore of the majority of the fleet which the team has been attempting to do for several days in order to make the most of the building south east trade winds.
CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson says that with the plenty of downwind sailing ahead and consistent trade wind conditions finally kicking in spirits are high aboard.
“We know that we’re very competitive in running conditions and there’s plenty of that coming up. There’s really nothing in at the moment between us and Puma so if we can just continue chipping away at their lead as we have been we will be in good shape.
“I think we are very competitive – this is a course that so far could have been extremely difficult for us with regards to a lot of jib reaching and it hasn’t been the case so far.
“It’s going to be a very tight race and personally I don’t think that from here we’re going to see vast differences in the boats, so we’ll probably see these first three boats stick closely with each other all the way to Miami.
“It’s fantastic racing though and we’re all relishing the close quarters competition.”
CAMPER in the latest position report at 1300h 29 April NZT is in second place sailing at 17.2 knots in a 17 knot south easterly.