YACHTING

Determined faces on CAMPER. Determined faces on CAMPER. CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand
A light airs gathering on CAMPER's foredeck. A light airs gathering on CAMPER's foredeck. CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand

Tense times ahead

Monday 28 May 2012, 10:51PM
By Emirates Team New Zealand
181 views


The tense times are set to continue for CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand as the team begin to run east towards Lisbon and face the prospect of more unpredictable weather.

In the last few hours the entire fleet has stopped their battle northwards, and gybed over into a building south westerly breeze and downwind sailing towards the finish line.

However, despite CAMPER sitting in second place there is little time to enjoy the fast sailing conditions with a large brick wall in the form of a ridge of a high pressure looming off the Portuguese coast.

The ridge line sitting some 300 nautical miles (nm) off Lisbon and almost 50 nm wide is likely to deliver extremely light winds of zero to five knots that could effectively mean a re-start of the leg as the fleet compresses in the variable conditions.

Large advantages could easily be lost and big deficits quickly overcome depending on how the fleet crosses the ridge, and who has luck going their way in what is likely to be a deciding moment in the hunt for victory in Leg 7.

The unpredictable weather outlook and the up and down nature of the leg so far means that the team are taking nothing for granted says CAMPER trimmer/driver Rob Salthouse.

“There’s always going to be opportunities. When we get across to the Portuguese coast there is a ridge we have to cross there, so there will be massive compression there.

“Often it will be first in first out, but you can’t always say that, especially in that part of the world.

"It will be tense times for everyone. It’s very up and down, everyone in the fleet has had trouble reading the weather from the start. About the only thing that is looking likely is that after all the twists and turns we’ve had since leaving Miami the race won’t actually be decided until we get through that ridge.

“It’s nice sailing, but if you ask anyone on board, we’d like to be getting to Lisbon quicker.”

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