YACHTING

Sail stack time on CAMPER Sail stack time on CAMPER CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand
Searching for wind on CAMPER Searching for wind on CAMPER CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand

Leg 6 to go down to the wire

Wednesday 9 May 2012, 8:40AM
By Emirates Team New Zealand
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The battle for Leg 6 honours looks set to go down to the wire with just 14 nautical miles between CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and first placed Puma as the fleet enters the final 24 hours of racing.

Overnight the top two boats managed to fend off an attack from the trailing teams and wriggle out of a large windless hole and into a light southerly breeze. These conditions are forecast to remain for the rest of the leg with the boats sailing into steadily improving pressure.

This should ensure that CAMPER has a good chance of holding off the advances of Groupama and Telefonica, with the main challenge for the team now being to do everything they can to slip past Puma in the 250 nm remaining to Miami.

Once the boats round the last waypoint of Eleuthera Island lighthouse they will have a final run down to the finish in a steady 10 to 15 knot southerly breeze which should set Puma and CAMPER up for a final match race to the finish line.

CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson says that after weeks of doggedly pursuing Puma they are ready for the challenge.

“We’ve been scrapping with Puma for days and we know that in the right conditions we can more than match them.

“They’ve got a tidy lead at the moment and there’s not to many passing lanes on offer but we’ve just got to take every mile as it comes and do what we can to maximise speed and reel them in.

“It looks like we should have running conditions for the rest of the leg and we’re generally pretty strong on that point of sail so let’s see what happens.

“We’re going to do whatever we can over the next 24 hours to get in front and get as many points as possible.

“There won’t be much sleep but we’re determined to throw everything at this leg.”

CAMPER in the latest position report at 1400h 8 May Miami time is in second place sailing at 11.6 knots in a 9 knot  southerly.