CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand has hit the light airs of the Azores High with the next 12 hours shaping up to be crucial to the team’s efforts to make up ground in the light conditions.
CAMPER managed to minimise the damage done in the reaching conditions over the last 24 hours with only six nautical miles separating the top four boats and all of them in sight of each other as they began to transition the tricky light pressure zone.
With the compression in the fleet CAMPER has moved to the south of the leading three boats in an effort to pick up a stronger breeze line and make a jump on the fleet around the turning mark of Sao Miguel Island where the wind strength is predicted to build again.
The low pressure system that is tracking towards the boats and is due to move over them as they head towards Lorient is now intensifying and looks set to deliver 30 to 40 knot downwind running all the way to the finish line – sailing conditions that CAMPER revels in.
CAMPER trimmer/driver Rob Salthouse says that the light conditions caused by the high pressures system offer up a window of opportunity.
“As we thought the light conditions have seen good compression in the fleet, so the lead the other guys took 30 hours to build on us we’ve pulled back in less than four hours.
“It’s been quite nice and now we’re just trying to work our way through the high and capitalise on the light conditions, we seem to have better breeze than Groupama, Puma and Telefonica so we’re making the most of that.
“Sometimes it has its benefits coming into a weather system behind the fleet as you can see the wind holes they fall into and avoid them. So we’ve been working our way to leeward of the other guys and hopefully that will pay.
“Once we work our way around the island we should pick up a pretty intense low pressure system which should also work out nicely for us and will mean a quick trip into Lorient.
CAMPER in the latest position report at 0400 13 June NZT is 6.2 nautical miles behind leg leader Groupama sailing at 7.5 knots in a 5 knot northerly. The latest estimated time of arrival into Lorient is 3pm Friday 15 June local time/ 1 am Saturday 16 June NZT.