Camper would prefer to "keep the enemy close" as they rock-hop
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) continue to
maintain the lead in Leg 6 to Miami from their inshore position, 20
nautical miles off the Brazilian coast, but the fleet is clearly divided
on whether sailing inshore or offshore will pay off. Although CAMPER is
carefully rock hopping up the coast, avoiding the Brazilian current and
with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) for company, skipper Chris
Nicholson would have preferred to be in closer contact with the rest of
“You’d always prefer to keep your enemies close, but
we had a bit of trouble hanging onto them on the tight reaching and, at
the end of the day, that option wasn’t there for us,” he explained.
Instead, the inshore duo will have to wait another 48 hours or so before
the outcome of their decision becomes clear.
For the pair
furthest offshore, Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) and Groupama
sailing team (Franck Cammas), currently in fourth and fifth places on
this leg, but in first and second overall, the last 24 hours has been
spent dawdling in fickle breeze. Groupama skipper Franck Cammas is happy
to be offshore, viewing the inshore option taken by Ian Walker and
Chris Nicholson as risky.
“There’s a fair amount of instability
inshore, but it’s hard to judge how many miles away you need to be,”
Cammas said. “Our aim is to gradually distance ourselves from the
Brazilian coast. We’re set to hit another zone of light airs on
Wednesday, and there’s even a strong chance of being forced onto a beat,
which will enable us to heave even further offshore.”
Spanish skipper, Iker Martínez agrees. “We didn’t want to get too close
to the coast, it was a choice, but now we can see that everyone has been
hit by the light airs, so we will have to see what happens,’’ he said.
“We have confidence in our position the east and the boat is going well.
It is a question of wind.”
It has been a tough day for PUMA, as
both groups started to move again, the team were parked under a big
cloud, which extended as far as the eye could see. “There is no pretty
way of getting round this corner at the moment,” said PUMA navigator Tom
Addis, as the fleet drifted in hot sun and crystal clear water.
the south east trade winds still a tantalising 48 hours or so away, the
immediate concern is dealing with the instability of the transition
zone. At 1900 tonight CAMPER led the fleet from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
by 2.7 nm with Groupama in fifth place, 41.30 nm astern.
fleet now has a lateral separation of a whisker under 100 nm, which can
easily produce different breezes and different currents. During the past
three hours, boat speeds have climbed back up to a promising 13.3 knots
for PUMA, but it is a game of patience once again.