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Encouraging gains being made by CAMPER and New Zealand almost in sight

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand has had a solid 24 hours making encouraging gains on the leading boats and edging closer towards the northern tip of New Zealand.

With under 1,000 miles to go to Auckland, CAMPER has pulled back 49 miles on first placed Groupama over the last 24 hours and is now less than 40 miles behind third placed Puma.

CAMPER is currently benefiting from stronger winds in the west to draw in on the front placed boats that are in lighter pressure to the east. In the latest position report CAMPER is sailing 4 knots fast than Groupama and almost 2 knots faster than Puma.


The latest video on board CAMPER

Although with only 700 nautical miles to go the finish pulling in Groupama’s 150 mile lead looks to be a step to far, the crew on CAMPER are preparing themselves for a final major push to secure a podium finish into Auckland.

CAMPER’s current estimated time of arrival in Auckland is 10am to 11am on Sunday 11 March, with the boat due to reach the northern tip of NZ just after midday on Saturday, pass the Bay of Islands by night fall and then following an all-night race down the coast  be near the Hen and Chicken Island by sunrise on Sunday and then finish with an early morning sprint up the Hauraki Gulf and into the Waitemata.

With the leading boats fighting light conditions off the northern tip of New Zealand and different weather models predicting vastly different conditions from 30 knots on the nose to light breezes for the race down the north east coast line there are plenty of opportunities remaining for CAMPER to gain further miles on Puma, Telefonica and Groupama.

Andy McLean and Daryl Wislang shifting sails onboard CAMPER
(Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race)

CAMPER co-skipper Stu Bannatyne says that the ever increasing closeness of home is providing extra motivation for the CAMPER crew.

“The guys are so eager to get home to Auckland that it is channelling their focus to reel in the leading boats ahead of us. Puma and Telefonica and even Groupama are firmly in the cross hairs, the sooner we get to them, the sooner we can get home to Auckland.

Once we lay eyes on the first glimpse of New Zealand it will give all of the guys a massive lift to make that final push down the coast to Auckland.

Our aim is to be within striking distance of the leading boats for that last couple of hundred miles down into the Hauraki Gulf.

Each passing hour takes us closer and closer with good speed -right now we are easing along at 16.5 knots towards the mark. Whether we can hold this speed will all depend on the conditions between now and home but we desperately want to deliver a good result into Auckland and will give it everything we can.”

Mike Pammenter doing a rigging check
(Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race)

With the Volvo Ocean Race Village officially opening today, Auckland is ready to welcome back the Volvo fleet after a 10 year absence. The public will also get a chance to get a close up look at CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand throwing open the doors to the public from 4:30pm to 8:30pm on Wednesday 14th March. Both the CAMPER sailors and Dean Barker and the America’s Cup crew will be there, and CAMPER will be open for public viewing.

CAMPER in the latest position report at 1500h 8 March NZT is averaging 16.5 knots in a 15.2 knot north easterly. They are 737 nautical miles from Auckland and 150.5 miles behind Groupama.

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