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CAMPER is in the lead in the Volvo Ocean Race

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand is leading in the Volvo Ocean Race by a slim 1.4 nautical miles over Groupama.  Puma is third 4.6nm off the pace with Sanya 7.5nm, Abu Dhabi 11.2nm and Telefonica 17.7nm.

Chris Nicholson climbs for a bit of a “look around”

Hamish Hooper’s blog from the Indian Ocean:

‘Today marks the start of international “tell someone they’re doing a good job week”.

So I thought I would tell the crew they were all doing a really great job. My praise was welcomed with forced smiles as if to say, “What have you done now?” Followed by taunts of ‘”weirdo!” Oh well I tried… but seriously the guys are doing a “great job”.  I have sensed something different to leg one onboard CAMPER.

Something on board has changed just a little. It’s hard to put finger on it, but for sure its positive.

Nothing specific has been worked on by the team, it’s definitely not over confidence, as there is no reason for it or anything like that just because we are at the sharp end of the fleet. It’s  more a quiet,  focused intensity and unity, which is growing in the crew, and I don’t think they are even aware of it yet.

As I was on deck this evening with Groupama just over 1 mile ahead of us Stu and Nico called for a change from the fractional code zero to the bigger mast head zero sail. There was barely a word said, other than a loud thud as Trae got such a fright when Chuny woke him for his watch he head-butted the roof above his bunk with violent force.  Chuny emerged from the hatch laughing with a cheeky smile from ear to ear, Trae emerged a little dazed…’

… There’s a sail on the horizon

‘Both went straight to work slotting in with the rest of the crew on watch. All 10 sailors were heads down and focused on job-to-job until the change was complete, sail trim optimized and the stack restacked. It was pretty cool to watch. Quickly there were small gains into Groupama’s lead.

So much so, we have a real chance of overtaking them tonight, which would be very nice.

Maybe the difference lies in the fact that on leg one we had very little close combat sailing against another boat – we were mainly on our own. With the close presence of a competitor it is natural for awareness and focus to increase. Either way morale is good onboard for now.

We are also not silly enough to forget about the rest of the fleet breathing down our neck, just over the horizon astern of us, they can catch up in the blink of an eye, hence the full-time focus is so vital.

As Will Oxley said, “This leg is looking like a minefield, loads of very light and tricky weather patterns to negotiate, so loads of opportunities to get passed. We just need to remain alert and focused on the job of getting to our destination first.”

So far so good, on we shall roll.

Andy asked me if he could have a curry for dinner tonight as we were now in the Indian Ocean. I laughed and thought of poppadoms for a period of time.’

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