Keeping a close eye on the competition behind. Keeping a close eye on the competition behind. CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand
CAMPER heading downwind at speed. CAMPER heading downwind at speed. CREDIT: Emirates Team New Zealand

Heading for Lisbon at speed

Tuesday 29 May 2012, 12:10PM
By Emirates Team New Zealand

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand is heading for Lisbon at speed as the team make the most of the long awaiting fast running conditions.

For much of the past 24 hours CAMPER has been averaging speeds in excess of 20 knots and reeling off the miles as it heads straight for Lisbon and the finish line.

With just over 1100 nautical miles (nm) left to go to Lisbon the fleet has about another day of high speed downwind sailing left before the breeze begins to slowly ease and become more hard on as the boats approach the large ridge of high pressure off the Portuguese coast.

Although third placed CAMPER has been steadily gaining on first placed  Abu Dhabi and second placed Puma overnight, little substantial change to the leaderboard is expected until the fleet hits the ridge of high pressure and compresses in the light airs. 

The ridge is highly likely to deliver what is effectively a re-start of the leg, meaning that all bets are off once the current drag race is over and the boats enter the final stage of the race to Lisbon

With the ridge still slowly moving the models are not yet showing the best place to attempt a crossing with luck likely to play a major role.

CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson that there is still everything to sail for in the leg.

“It’s nice sailing at the moment and we’re making good miles towards Lisbon so we’re looking ok for the time being.

“But coming into Lisbon we’re quite sure there will be serious compression which is going to shake everything up.

"Coming into the light airs zone it’s about choosing the best point to cross the ridge and then just doing your best to wriggle through and get north or south as required.

“That position right at the moment? We just don’t know – there’s still a lot to play out.”

Pictures of CAMPER, video footage and audio files  are available upon request. Further information and race updates will be available on our blog and on our Facebook page

The latest video from on board CAMPER is here