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Hamish Hooper’s blog from on board CAMPER

Hamish Hooper, Emirates New Zealand‘s media crew member on CAMPER, wrote this blog on November 8,  2011 updating us on the Volvo Ocean Race so far:

‘It was another very bumpy ride today with winds on the nose around 30 knots at times reaching up to 40 knots.

These boats are a pretty wild ride in conditions like that, well heeled over, riding up and down waves like on a prize rodeo bronco.’

CAMPER leading out of Alicante at the weekend

‘It is a very difficult just to move around on deck and perhaps even more so down below where a slip of a foot or hand can send you falling very hard to the floor a long way below. It pays to move around with caution, but sometimes even caution doesn’t save you as I discovered trying to cook lunch in the galley.

One second I was over the kettles waiting for them to boil, the next as if I hadn’t moved, but the boat had moved from below me, I hit the floor hard and was languishing saturated in the bilge full of water… Again that question pops to mind, “What am I doing here?”’

‘Despite this somewhat low point of my day, all of my effort in the galley was not lost on the crew, who were pretty elated to have a nice hot meal of freeze dry nachos after the 24 hours they had been through…  There are a lot of very tired, and sore red eyes around today.

The high point for sure was reaching Gibraltar ahead of the somewhat diminished fleet after hearing Sanya had also suspended racing. 

The sea state had eased remarkably; breeze had dropped to a far more manageable but patchy 10 – 15 knots. The shipping traffic is always a worry so there was still a heightened level of alert on deck.

There is some satisfaction on board having left The Med in the lead but also the grounding prospect that there is a long long way to go in this leg.’

The CAMPER crew wearing MUSTO

‘“From the sublime to the ridiculous- 38 knots to 5 knots” is how our Navigator Will Oxley describes the transition from what we saw before Gibraltar and what we are facing after.

The next challenge is the big area of light winds ahead, and how best to negotiate through these to hook into the favorable trade winds and remain in the lead.

Nervous times ahead, but then when are there not nervous times prior to crossing the finish line- I’m pretty certain there aren’t any.’

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Comments
  • RALPH ANLEY says:

    I’m a great MUSTO fan… ALL of my sailing gear is MUSTO… so it goes without saying any team that MUSTO supports I’m a keen supporter of… “GO CAMPER GO”!!!!!!

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