Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia, finish leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajai, Brazil.
After 31 days racing Camper sailed by a crew from Emirates Team NZ, finally crossed the Leg 5 finish line in Itajaí, Brazil just after noon, at 12:35:44 UTC, having sailed an average of 1,400 nautical miles further and 11 days longer than their counterparts on the podium.
Relief was visible on the faces of the 11 crew as they claimed fourth place in the race from one of their home ports, Auckland, New Zealand to Brazil, earning them 15 points that catapult them back to third position overall.
Skipper Chris Nicholson said it has been an epic 9,048 nm race for the team, who were forced to suspend racing on April 3 when they pulled into the Chilean port of Puerto Montt for five days to fix structural damage.
Skipper Chris Nicholson onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Credit: Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race)
'This leg, before we left Auckland was one where we had awesome potential I thought, and one of those factors was our reliability,' he said.
'As always this race throws up lots of surprises and that was one of them. We’d done a lot of hard testing with the boat and never had a problem from day one.
'So, for this one to pop up like it did was both disappointing and surprising. What wasn’t disappointing or surprising was how the team dealt with the problem, everyone got on with the job that took a lot of resources and a lot of hard work from everyone right across the team to essentially rebuild the boat in Puerto Montt, Chile, and rejoin the race.
'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.'
First place was claimed by Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG on April 6 after an epic victory over Team Telefónica, who fought back from a 400 nm deficit after suspending for repairs to claim second place, just 12 nm behind the winners.
Groupama sailing team claimed the final podium position on April 10 under jury rig, after the team were forced to suspended racing to repair their broken mast on April 4 and resumed racing on April 7.