Volvo Ocean Race : Groupama on home strait while CAMPER toughs it out

Monday, 09 April 2012

As the French team on board Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) enter the home straight towards the finish line in Itajaí, Brazil, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) were preparing to do battle with Cape Horn in two days’ time. Both boats had to make unscheduled pit stops during Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí due to damage. Groupama was dismasted on April 4 and put in to Punta del Este, Uruguay to step a jury rig, while CAMPER headed to Puerto Montt in Chile to repair structural damage after suspending racing on April 3.

CAMPER are heading towards 50 degrees south and the temperature is dropping. Boosting morale is plenty of food and the thought that although there are no competitors on the water to sail against, there is a ship carrying ABU Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Azzam (Ian Walker/GBR,), which will be heading towards Itajaí with her precious cargo and two members of the team’s shore crew.

Conditions have so far been light and rather ordinary for the Southern Ocean and CAMPER have only been able to achieve an average speed of around eight knots. However, the crew reports a building breeze, which they are hoping will propel them quickly towards Cape Horn to round it ahead of a depression set to blast its way through the vicinity around that time.

Groupama meanwhile, have had perfect conditions to sail the last few hundred miles under jury rig and have been making 12.4 knots towards a certain third place finish position and 20 points. The crew are continually optimising their sail plan. They are flying a storm jib as a staysail and a staysail as a genoa along with a heavily reefed mainsail. At 1000 GMT today, they had 166 nautical miles to run and are expected to cross the finish at approximately 0900 GMT on Tuesday. CAMPER has tough days ahead with over 2391 nm to sail, alone.

Sophie Luther

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Last Updated ( Monday, 09 April 2012 )