Camper team fully operational
It has been a pivotal week for Camper in the Volvo Ocean Race, as the full team was welcomed to the Emirates Team New Zealand base at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. The complete sailing and shore team will now be based in Auckland until the boat is shipped to Europe in July.
The Camper and Emirates Team New Zealand shore crew includes sail makers, riggers, boat builders, electronic engineers, a chef, a physiotherapist, a fitness trainer, logistic support, sponsorship support, a media team and an administration team of more than 30 people. The full operational setup on site also includes a functioning mobile shore base, which mirrors the team base that will be shipped around the world during the race.
Camper skipper Chris Nicholson said: “While the sailing team and some additional shore team officially started in March, for the past nine months there have been close to 70 people working on this project. From our design director Nick Holroyd, who has been working with Emirates Team New Zealand naval architect Marcelino Botin and Giovanni Belgrano our structural engineer and his team. Through to our sail designer Burns Fallow and his team of sailmakers, our electronics expert Greg Lewis and our shore manager Neil Cox who have been dedicated to ensuring that this project stays on track. In addition, we have a fantastic ‘back room’ team to look after the admin side of things and this work behind the scenes is one of the major factors that have kept us on schedule and will allow the sailing team to focus on the job ahead."
The next five months will be a massive logistical challenge, as the team manages a mobile base and office for over 25 people, launch and test the new Camper Volvo Open 70, and puts in place the infrastructure that will ensure the accommo- dation, travel and boat logistics for the team over the next 18 months.
Estanislao Carpio, Camper Chief Operating Officer said: "Camper are truly excited to reach yet another milestone and welcome everyone to this exciting adventure. We are incredi- bly proud of the design and build team who have worked tirelessly to deliver the build on time, and we are enthused at having the full team on board. The campaign has truly come alive and we look forward to Camper rolling out of the shed in mid-April”.
Just eight months remain until the start of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain on 5 November. The Camper sailing team, which features a combination of both offshore experience and new talent, will now begin an intensive programme in the build up to the race start.
Emirates Team New Zealand Managing Director Grant Dalton said: "It is great to see the team fully operational at the Emirates Team New Zealand base in Auckland. The months ahead are crucial to ensure the success of the project. The more we prepare now, the better position we will be in when we cross the start line in Alicante. Eight months seems a long time away but with a project of this size it will go very quickly. Central to this will be the bringing the boat up to speed as soon as possible after its launch. We are very lucky to have such a fantastic location to undertake the extensive sail testing programme, we have a range of conditions on our doorstep here in New Zealand, which will provide a stunning backdrop for this period in the campaign."
To coincide with the final stages of the build, a small group of the sailing and shore team has been on site in Auckland since the New Year working across navigation, rigging and electronics. The Camper Volvo Open 70, which has been under construction at Cookson Boats since last August is in the final stages of the build. The remaining systems are being fitted and the boat is being prepared for the livery to be added, before finally being transported to the team’s base in central Auckland in April.