• 25-MAR-2012

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

CAMPER Heading to Chile for Repairs while Telefonica Sustain Damage in Big Waves

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand are heading for Puerto Montt on the west coast of Chile, selected as the best place to repair damage to their bow.

CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson, who pledged to complete Leg 5 from Auckland in New Zealand to Itajaí in Brazil once the work is done, said their predicament had begun to snowball after repairs were needed to a forward bulkhead earlier in the leg.

"We repaired that only for that repair to fail again probably about three days ago," he said. "Then we were trying to stem the flow in terms of stopping the problem getting any worse.

"The bulkhead offers a lot of support to our longitudinals (hull supports) and we have to keep the longitudinals intact. Unfortunately some of the secondary bonding let go of the longitudinal and that's when seamanship has to take over and basically call enough is enough.

"We will suspend racing once we get closer to Puerto Montt, do our repairs and get back in the race," he added. "We estimate it will be three days of repairs and then we will be on our way to Itajaí."

Meanwhile overall Race leaders Team Telefónica are 120 nm off the pace set by first placed Groupama sailing team and 72 nautical miles behind PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG.

Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez confirmed the Spanish crew were concentrating on protecting their boat and themselves against the harsh conditions in order to complete the leg safely.

"Everyone's security comes first," Martínez said. "We had a problem in the bow that we don't want to escalate. It's a shame having to go slowly, we don't like it at all, especially when you're fighting.

"The boat is going well now, but there is a danger that it could be damaged, so that is why we have decreased our speed."


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