CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand’s smart sailing has paid off with the team taking the lead in Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race.
After splitting from the fleet and heading north to find more favourable breeze CAMPER slipped into the lead last night and now enjoys a slim 9.2 nautical mile (nm) lead over Abu Dhabi, with Telefonica 24 nm behind in third place.
However, despite the bold move paying off and delivering an impressive comeback for the team there is no room for complacency with just under 2000 nm remaining to Lisbon and an unstable weather outlook for the rest of the leg.
In the short term conditions are expected to become more upwind over the next 12 hours, before becoming light and variable as the fleet escapes the circulation of a high pressure system and attempt to pick up a frontal system developing in the north east.
The lead boat is expected to pick up the front in 24 to 48 hours and will then enjoy building running conditions into the finish which should enable them to steal a jump on the trailing pack. Picking up this front in a strong position will be critical to a top finishing position. The latest estimated arrival time into Lisbon is 1 June NZT.
While enjoying the lead CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson is taking nothing for granted.
“There’s a lot of variable weather going on in this leg and not all of it is panning out for some people. It all makes for a very unstable leaderboard.
“There’s some good running conditions ahead which shout suit us but it’s really vital that we pick up the front delivering those running conditions in good shape.
“There’s so much left to play out in this leg and by no means is it going to be a straight forward finish – there’s plenty of nervous times ahead.”