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CamperETNZoffshoreVOR 2011

Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand goes to Fiji

|source: Camper Blog|
Photo Credit: Chris Cameron 2011
For skipper Chris Nicholson the Fiji race will be an acid test of more than a year’s work by designers, boat builders, shore crew and the yachtsmen themselves.
The route will see the crew sail a 1141-nautical mile dash from Auckland to MusketCove, Fiji.
The yacht will be in full race mode, the crew will number 13 rather than the 11 permitted for the Volvo Ocean Race, but in all respects it will be a full-on few days.
The yacht has been in the shed at the Emirates Team New Zealand base for a minor refit following sea-trials and completing a 2000-nautical mile voyage to qualify for entry to the Volvo Ocean Race. It will be re-launched today, the mast will be stepped, and CAMPER will be sailing again on Friday.
Photo Credit: Chris Cameron 2011
“We are satisfied with the boat’s reliability with the hammering we got in the weeks after the launch. Now we are into tweaking systems and improving crew work so that when we get to the start line in Alicante in November we are ready to go.The Fiji race is an early opportunity to bed in the watch system and work together as a crew. If there are any shortcomings we’ll find them and have time to correct them, ” commented Nicholson.
For CAMPER ideal weather for the race is a start from Auckland in a moderate south-westerly and hook into the south-easterly trades as they get closer to Fiji. They will be looking for a following wind on the return voyage to Auckland. “We have some down-wind sails that we want to test and a good, long run would be welcome change to the upwind sailing we experienced during the qualifying sail.”
A fleet of 19 will line up for the 2011 edition of the race, with a mix of yachts ranging from the historic Maxi Whitbread Lion New Zealand, to Team Vodafone Sailing competing on their 60ft trimaran.
The race starts at midday on Saturday, June 4 follow live tracking of the fleet here: http://www.rnzys.org.nz

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