Camper claims fourth place
Camper reached Itajaí, Brazil at 12:35:44 UTC today to claim fourth place in leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race, despite finishing more than 10 days behind leg winners Puma.
This valliant effort will award the Emirates Team New Zealand crew 15 points elevating them back to third place overall, 28 points behind overall leaders Telefónica.
Camper was forced to suspend racing on 3 April when they pulled into Puerto Montt, CEO to fix structural damage to their boat (read more about this here). As a result the crew had to sail an estimated 3000 extra miles compared with their rivals – meaning a total of over 9,000 miles for the leg.
“It’s about how resilient the team is,” said skipper Chris Nicholson. “They just stood up and got on with the job, so I’m proud of the effort of the whole team. I am very proud of the whole team. I think in previous races some other teams would not have done what we needed to do to get the points. Adversity makes a team stronger and we are stronger than ever."
Nicholson added: “It’s a valuable 15 points we’ll get. We won’t even know how valuable those points are until the end in Galway, but I have a feeling they’re vital.”
Tony Rae was delighted that the team stuck it out to claim 15 valuable points rather than retiring from the leg and having the boat shipped to Brazil from Chile: “It’s been a long leg but it’s still really nice to actually sail and not have the boat on a ship,” he said. “It’s also nice to feel that we’ve actually achieved something in getting some points for the effort.”
Stu Bannatyne echoed the sentiments of his Camper team-mate. “Through all the trials and tribulations we’ve had on this leg and to still end up with fourth place and 15 points - that’s what this race is all about, gathering points as best you can,” he said. “No points come easy in this race and this leg has been a classic example of that. We’ve had to fight pretty hard and work hard - the sailing team and the shore team - to get here and collect these points, so there’s an immense feeling of satisfaction.”
Despite having little time to rest, Bannatyne insisted the team would be as competitive as ever in Saturday’s in-port race.
“Our next race is on Saturday, and that’s enough time to get ready and get the essential work done,” he said. “At the end of the day we’ll come out racing with no excuses not to do well.”